As the sad news breaks of Norm Hetherington's passing, I think quite a few a few of us Aussie kids are reliving the times spent watching and waiting every episode to see what Mr Squiggle could pull off with those scribbles....what is it he's drawing? Is it an elephant having tea with a mouse? A duck walking a 3-legged dog? No, it's a fashionable pig wearing a doughnut as an earring!!
Watching Mr Squiggle as a child introduced me to the wonders of drawing, and to the possibility of imagination rendered with something as simple as pencil and paper. Looking at clips from the show now, again I am drawn into the magic of the creative process - witnessing a puppet with a pencil as a nose turn the most unlikely marks into the most plausible composition is a wonderful thing. And let's not forget the wonderful Blackboard, always grumpy, hurrying Miss Jane up...Gus the Snail..and the cutest Steam Shovel ever. And that rocket!!! How I wished I had my own, to fly around in and go wherever I pleased.
Vale, Norman Hetherington.
The "Collectors" program interviewed Hetherington amongst his marionettes for an episode in July this year. To watch, click here.