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Artisan Collective

MERRIGONGX 2020 Artist Profile


The Artisan Collective aims to explore the ever-expanding possibilities of theatre. Their work encapsulates cross-disciplinary performance, text based plays, physical theatre, live music performance, sound installation and puppetry. Their latest development work is by founder, writer and performer Ben Pfeiffer and co-developed with director Kirsten von Bibra.

Artist Statement

I’d heard of ‘Jumbo the Mighty African Elephant’ previously and just happened to flick over to a documentary about him a few years back.

I was totally enthralled by his life’s journey and began to research the extraordinary relationship Jumbo shared with his long-term carer and companion, Matthew Scott. I felt their fascinating story spoke to so many issues of modern-day relevance: the state of humanity, entitlement, exploitation, the fetishisation of otherness and animal conservation. After feeling an instantaneous connection to both Jumbo and Scott, I immediately put pen to paper. The more I wrote, the more I came to understand the immense depth, breadth, heart and potency their tale contained. I believe it will make for an exquisite and breathtaking theatrical experience.

I like my audiences to be immersed in something incredibly intimate and rich, to play with their comprehension of time – making it stretch or contract so that transcendence, both imaginative and emotional, can take place. Under the Artisan Collective umbrella, each different project has been rooted in a social justice issue of thematic significance, making the work not only a piece of ethical urgency, but also one that knows its heart and intention intimately.

Ben Pfeiffer

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