Article by Cassandra Ramsay @cassramsay

Although it is estimated that two out of every hundred Australians will suffer from Bipolar Disorder at some point in their lives, there is still a stigma linked with the mental illness. Emerging artist Lunabella Mrozic Gawler, who has been affected by the medical condition where one experiences extreme moods, explores the effects of Bipolar Disorder in Wings of Wax.


Wings of Wax is a one-audience-member interactive puppetry show. The audience are invited to choose four tarot cards from a deck, each card relating to both a contemporary story of a character living with Bipolar Disorder and a related story from global mythology, accompanied by a shadow puppetry performance.

The play is directed by Garreth Bradshaw of Upstart Theatre Company (Perth) and was devised using personal stories and accounts of peoples experiences with Bipolar Disorder.

“Through sharing this piece at Crack I am hoping to start to unravel the mystery of how to explore a deeply individual and interior experience publicly, as well as inviting people to consider the many faces and facets of mental illness, beyond stereotypes and stigma” says Lunabella.

The writer/performer/clown/production designer has spent the past year as a puppetry intern at Spare Parts Puppet Theatre in Perth. “[Puppetry] is a form that taps directly into the imagination and lends itself to poetic storytelling” she says.


“I’m particularly fond of adult puppetry as I feel it helps reclaim a bit of the total surrender with which children approach a new idea or possibility.”

“Exploring difficult subject matter, such as death or mental illness, through puppetry, allows a kind of detached observation, a playful forum to consider a different point of view.”

The work that Lunabella is currently interested in creating is driven by the desire to study how lines between spiritual connection, to the world, to one another and to the individual are healed or shifted through creative expression.

By using feedback and reflection from her time at Crack, Lunabella will move forward creating a larger scale immersive theatrical experience that explores the interior experiences of Bipolar Disorder through a lens of classic mythology and archetype.