Dear Reader - Down Under, Mining

Director: Barbara Steinitz

The new video for Dear Reader's "Down Under, Mining", created by Berlin-based artist Barbara Steinitz, is an impressive and beautiful feat of visual storytelling. Composed entirely of paper cut-outs, painstakingly handcrafted and puppeteered live by Steinitz, it recreates the old-world scenes evoked in the song with a moving simplicity.

"After seeing Barbara perform one of her paper theatre pieces for some children at a school in Neukölln, I was inspired to use the same kind of technique to make a music video. Since each song on my new record is an exercise in storytelling, it seemed perfect to use the same approach on the visual side as well. She showed me some other work that she had done using shadows and silhouettes, and it seemed like a perfect medium to depict the world of miners, working in the darkness deep below the earth's surface. I was also drawn by the idea of something made completely by hand; an old-fashioned technique seemed a perfect match for music about older days." - Cherilyn MacNeil

"The haunting sound of 'Down Under, Mining' immediately provoked images in my mind's eye that I felt could best be realised using clear, graphic shadow theatre. I had already been working with this technique for years, mainly for book illustrations.
As a contrast to the shadows that represent the hard lives of miners in Johannesburg in the 1900's, I used a white paper-cut technique, which depicts the present, where a woman confronts the ghosts of the past. On the technical side of things I was joined by video artist Philine Sollmann, who did the filming and editing of the piece, and sometimes joined me in playing the puppets." - Barbara Steinitz

Director, silhouettes, lighting and puppetry: Barbara Steinitz

Camera and editing: Philine Sollmann