Roger Titley's Puppets, Creatures and Live Performances
 About: The Artist
The Artist | Roger Titley

- Born September 1960 in Johannesburg, South Africa

- Schooled at St Andrews in Grahamstown and Matriculated 1978.

- Spent 2 years in the Air force driving heavy construction machinery in 1979/80

- Received a National diploma in graphic fine art from Cape Technikon in 1983

- Presently working from his studio in Knysna on the Garden Route of South Africa

Roger started his career in Johannesburg in 1984 as a freelance illustrator, teacher and cartoonist. He taught graphic fine art and sculpture at FUBA (Federated Union of Black arts), sketched political Cartoons for Vrye Weekblad and started building puppets in 1986 when he met puppeteer Gary Friedman.

Although Roger started in low-tech puppetry with projects such as “Puppets against Aids” his puppetry quickly drew him into the world of TV commercials and film.

From 1990 to 2008 most of his work was for film and television where he has been involved in close to 1000 productions. Through this work Roger was introduced to many aspects of model building including animals, humans, fantasy characters and food.

Several of his puppets had to be hyper-realistic and were operated by hand, cables and animatronics. His work was featured in many commercials for well-known brands such as Coca-Cola, Shell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Volkswagen, Citroen, Vodacom, Audi, Nissan, Fiat, BMW, Toyota, Peugeot, Philips, Mercedes Benz, Husqvarna, Daewoo, Ford, Lever Bros. South Africa’s major production companies such as Moonlighting and Velocity Africa employed him regularly for his outstanding work.

Work such as the Elephants hatching from eggs for IBM, the crocodile that loses its teeth for Toyota Hilux, the bungee jumping baby for Vodacom, BBC’s walking with Caveman series and the flying ostrich for Microsoft are just some of the award winning works that Roger was involved in.

In 2009 Roger returned to building more low-tech puppetry from white polyethylene.

The main reason for developing these simple but effective puppets was to allow the regular everyday person on the street to have the experience of building and performing.

These puppet building and movement coaching workshops were facilitated in several cities around the world such as Linz-Austria, Istanbul-Turkey, Burgos-Spain and Helsinki-Finland. Thousands of people joined in to build and perform with their creatures in performances and parades.

The puppets were also created for professional Performances such as the World Economic Forum in Davos-Switzerland in 2010, A stadium opening in Turkmenistan in 2011 and National Day in Dubai in 2012.

Roger also used this puppetry technique to build the Dung beetle and elephants that were featured in the Fifa 2010 Soccer World Cup at Soccer City, Johannesburg.

Roger has started to use the several different styles of puppetry that he has learned and developed over the last three decades to educate the poorer people of his area on social issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, Fetal alcohol syndrome and family violence.

In 2014 Roger received the Western Cape cultural affairs award.

Most recent work:

In August 2016 Roger built 5 very large creature puppets for the Olympic games opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro where he trained 56 Brazilian dancers to bring them to life.

Most of 2017 has been taken up with a show for Franco Dragone in Dubai, UAE, called “La Perle” that opens at the end of August 2017.

Roger giving last minute instructions to participants before a parade in Burgos, Spain.

Roger receiving the Western Cape cultural affairs award for 2013/14