IONA MCAULEY  designer

Models Masks and Makes

As a designer and Artist I spend most of my time making things including models, puppets, masks, interactive displays and installations.  In the course of my Arts practice, I have worked with many different types of materials and I particularly enjoy creating new things from existing objects.  Recently, I worked on masks for Yirra Yaakin's Production of Boodjar Kaatijin.  Many of the masks were made from materials that were off cuts from other products or found objects.  ​

Masks for Yirra Yaakin production of Boodjar Kaatijin (2016) Designed by Matt McVeigh

Many of the materials are discarded industrial waste sourced from Remida re-use centre.  The Waste Wise Authority bin below is an example of one of the creations. The mouth was made from artificial lawn, the bow-tie from pool cover and the arms from aluminium insulated pipe. 

Initial sketch showing design concept for bin.

Early stages of converting bin

This is Wilbur Wastenot an interactive display commissioned by the Waste Wise Authority.  A regular household bin was converted into a character.  The bin is used as an educational tool about reducing waste and packing a waste free lunch.  


The participants find the food items in the bin and place it in the lunch boxes that Wilbur is holding in his hands.  One is for waste free and one is for waste-ful.

The interactive bin was part of the Waste Wise Authority display at the 2014 Royal Show and is currently being used in schools.


Completed interactive display with flaps that swing, lift open and pull up to reveal food items.  


behind the scenes of theatre

There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes before the amazing designs hit the stage to begin their life under the spotlight.  The images below show a selection of sketches and models at the early stages of the process.   


For Spare Parts Puppet Theatre's Production of Miss Lily's Fabulous Feather Boa the main character Potoroo started his life as a paper maché model and evolved into a cane structure with moving parts. The cane was padded out in foam before the final fabric layer was fitted by the puppet fabricator.  

As the designer I am occassionally involved in aspects of the puppet making however most of the puppet is constructed by the puppet maker, in this instance Sanjiva Giovanni Margio and Lyndel Darch who does a fine job of covering the puppet.  The look of the puppet can evolve from the initial concept as each artist involved in the building process imprints their own unique style into the final look.  This brings delightful surprises to the characters.

Wombat masks design development

Potoroo in the making

Puppet Designed by Iona McAuley Puppet Maker Sajiva Margio