This year our Creative Fund received 55 applications, with a total ask of £238,500 and we had £20,000 to award. Our panel was made up of independent artists, our Creative Scotland lead officer and the Puppet Animation Scotland staff team.The ideas shared in this process demonstrated a fantastic range of approaches to engage with puppetry, visual theatre and animated film and we hope to remain in conversation with anyone that applied to support their work and aspirations going forward.

If you have not already been in touch with our team to arrange a meeting about your project, why not come along to our artist networking reception in Edinburgh during August – contact [email protected] to register for this event and find out more.

We’re delighted to introduce the four recipients of the fund for the 23/24 period and want to take this opportunity to thank all the artists who submitted ideas or development opportunities for consideration this year.

Mamoru Iriguchi 

Mamoru is an Edinburgh-based performance maker and theatre designer with a background in zoology. His performance work includes ‘What You See When Your Eyes Are Closed / What You Don’t See When Your Eyes Are Open’ (Wellcome Collection / Schwankhalle), ‘Sex EducaGon Xplorers (S.E.X.)’ (Nominee, CATS), ‘EATEN’ (Nominee, CATS) and ‘4D Cinema’ (Autopsy Award Winner). Mamoru’s theatre design work includes ‘Love Song to Lavender Menace’ (Lyceum, Edinburgh) and ‘Mincemeat’ (Best Design winner, London Evening Standard Theatre Awards).

 ‘Size Matters (working title)’

Throughout history, humans have created vast numbers of figurines, dolls and puppets of diverse shapes and sizes. ‘Size Matters’ will be a show about our obsession about human-shaped objects. For this R&D, kindly funded via Puppet Animation Scotland’s Creative Fund, Mamoru and his collaborators Fergus Dunnet and Juila Darrouy, will create a work-in-progress piece to investigate the deeply intimate relationship between puppets and their operators.

Eleanor Stewart

Eleanor Stewart is an awardwinning Animation Film Maker, Paper Artist the Director of Clubhouse, an Independent Animation Studio based in Glasgow. She specialises in creating playful hand-crafted models and animations out of paper and has produced work for a variety of international clients including Dior, the RSPB, The Calgary Stampede and National Galleries of Scotland. Her animations have been screened in the UK and internationally, including performances with live symphony orchestras.

‘Love, Aye?’

With support from Puppet Animation Scotland, ‘Love, Aye?’ will explore the real-life experiences of love, relationships and dating through gathered recorded conversations and stories. During this development stage, we will create a framework so these stories sit together as a cohesive, uplifting and relatable animated film that will capture the funny and often bizarre world of modern dating.


Craig McCulloch

Craig is a Scottish freelance actor, independent theatre making artist, performer in British Sign Language and Spoken English, and a workshop facilitator. He graduated from Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2018, and was part of the first cohort in the new groundbreaking course, BA Performance in BSL/English. Since he had graduated, he has worked in various roles; an Actor, Associate Director, Assistant Director, Translator, BSL consultant and a workshop leader.

Craig joined Imaginate as a Jerwood Fellow in May 2022 and has been exploring an idea he had to talk to children about dreams and nightmares through performance.  In November, he worked at The Tron for a week with a creative team to explore this idea. With the funding from Puppet Animation Scotland, he will be doing another R&D period to develop this new play and aims to do a tour around Scotland with this in the future for children with their families.


A visual and BSL storytelling piece how to deal with grief. How to overcome your nightmares and face the truth.


Vendetta Vain

Vee Smith, who performs under the name of Vendetta Vain, trained at the National Centre for Circus Arts and Butterface is her first circus solo work.


A solo physical theatre/circus that is centred around a character who is an embodiment of the disconnect between how we feel on the inside vs how other people perceive us.

Creative Fund is an annual award – our next round will open in early Summer 2024. Find out more here.

Main Image: Bruno Gallagher’s Meine Leibe Mon Amour appearance at Manipulate 202 following support from Creative Fund in 2022. Photo credit: Sally Jubb

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