Stutter leads to lifetime with puppets

David and Sally Poulton founded Promotions in Motion.
David and Sally Poulton founded Promotions in Motion.

DAVID Poulton knows the arts can change a life.

Attempting to escape torment as a young boy, David pursued what was to be an exciting and challenging career path, earning him worldwide recognition.

"At school, I was bullied for stammering and stuttering and for three years I was an elective mute," he said.

"One day, I had a teacher put a puppet in my hand…and I found that without the puppet, I would stammer and stutter badly, but through the puppet I could talk fluently."

Some of the most quirky and creative Christmas puppet displays in shop windows around the world were created in Noosaville by David and his wife Sally.

The couple are the founders of Promotions in Motion and have been in the puppeteering business for 45 years - initially as performance puppeteers, travelling the world for 35 years, but now devoted to their commercial arts studio.

"We worked for arts councils and toured Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Taiwan, the world," David said.

Accompanied by a team of artists, engineers, craftsmen, musicians and puppeteers, David and Sally have been designing, building, directing and producing puppet shows for more than a decade.

David said the personal connection they had with their characters allowed their business to stand-out.

"We believe you have got to have some emotional attachment with the characters; that's what our point of difference is," David said.

"We're hand-made, not factory produced, and with everything we make, there are no two things the same."

David said he and Sally felt "honoured" to be able to share their gift of the arts with the Australian community.

"It's a wonderful job," he said.

"Our most wonderful satisfaction is that 50% of Australians have seen our work and of that ... half of them remember it.

"To become a part of someone's memory is a pretty good honour."

An exciting process for David and Sally is finding artists who challenge all forms of contemporary art and can design and create pieces that are curious and "quirky".

"I think you've got to be - and I say this as a joke - not normal, and it is also quite correct," David said.

"We don't like straight lines.

Sally added: "They must have an artistic feel."

Promotions in Motion is completing its Christmas window for David Jones.

It will be revealed in Sydney in December.

Topics:  puppets

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