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Weird and Wonderful Gadgets and Inventions

August 30, 2008 by · Comments Off 

British Library
Until November 10th 2008.

Would-be inventors will be inspired by Maurice Collins collection of eccentric contraptions, over 50 of which are currently on display at the British Library in London.
The exhibits include this early food processor, a mechanical page turner, a clockwork burglar alarm and even an early version of a sat-nav device.
Maurice is giving a talk on September 16th at 18.00hrs.
Click here to book. (free)

Mechanics Alive!! Exhibition to Oakham School

January 4, 2008 by · Comments Off 

Pegasus by Keith NewsteadOur Mechanics Alive!! exhibition is making a brief appearance (for two school weeks) at Oakham School Smallbone Library Foyer, in Rutland, Leceistershire, before heading off on tour to Australia for a year. Read more

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

October 5, 2007 by · Comments Off 

hugo_movies_cover1.jpgA fantastic new children’s book by Brian Selznick is launched in the UK this week. Set in Paris, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, is an enthralling 526-page book in which the story of a 12 year old boy is told in both words and pictures. His adventures centre around the discovery of an old automaton, this is a real page turner!
To celebrate the UK launch, an exhibition of Brian’s original drawings opens at Waterstones Piccadilly, London tomorrow, alongside some automata from Cabaret Mechanical Theatre.

Exhibition continues until 14th October.

‘Markey and Friends’ in Falmouth

September 5, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Kissing Couple CutoutThe Falmouth Art Gallery are celebrating the 80th Birthday (a few years early!) of ‘the father of the Falmouth automata makers’ Peter Markey.
The exhibition ‘Markey and Friends’, will also feature the paintings of Peter’s son and artist Danny,  as well as plenty of automata from Peter.
Opens 22nd September 2007.

Peter’s ‘Kissing Couple’ paper cutout (seen here) is available to buy and make from our online shop.

Carlos Zapata at Royal Academy

June 17, 2007 by · Comments Off 

untitled.jpgA new work by the Colombian automata maker Carlos Zapata is currently being exhibited at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition in London.

In the piece a man protecting a small child is being beaten by soldiers. Carlos has always been concerned about the ill treatment of innocent people, and the fact that very often nothing is done to stop it – even though it is known to be taking place.
Whilst turning the handle of this piece the audience realises that the he or she is actually taking part in the torture.

The exhibition continues until 19th August 2007.

BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour

April 20, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Listen to this morning’s Woman’s Hour broadcast again.
Three generations of women were interviewed – myself, Sue Jackson and my daughter Max.

Also there is a great video of the opening event at Kinetica, which really captures the spirit of the exhibition (which has now been extended by popular demand to 7th May). See ya there!

I Remember Gundestrup

April 15, 2007 by · Comments Off 

I Remember Gundestrup by Paul Spooner - Photo Chris O'SheaPaul Spooner’s latest piece, ‘I Remember Gundestrup’ is currently on show at our exhibition at Kinetica. The two figures slowly move around in the vessel of blood-red Janus heads.
For those who can’t visit, the caption reads:-

‘This is not as bad as it looks: customs change in Denmark as they do all over most of the world. Long ago when customs were unlike those of today (in most places) a young prince of Denmark had had a bloody but ultimately successful battle. Luckily, he possessed a wondrous cauldron that had the magical property of reviving any corpse that was simmered in it. That sort of thing happened in those days. The woman is someone he won in the battle.’

Heads will roll.

Media Coverage

April 8, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Heaven on TV by Chris O'SheaOur latest show at Kinetica is no. 1 choice in TimeOut’s Around Town this week. If you’re in London, the local news slot on the BBC should have coverage today (Sunday) at 7:35pm. We were also on BBC Radio London’s Breakfast Show yesterday – you can ‘listen again‘ (until Sun 15th April). Leave a message in the comments if you spot anything else.

Kinetica Exhibition Opens Today

April 6, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Robo Thespian There was a fantastic opening party for the CMT and Ride of Life Exhibition at Kinetica last night. Guests were enthralled by the range of automata old and new, it was a great launch for the show. Guest Chris O’Shea took some great pictures and as he says:-
‘I can safely say that this one of the most beautiful, playful and magical exhibitions I’ve been to for a long time. My photos don’t do it justice, you need to go and see them moving in real life. It has a real feeling of British crazy backyard inventor to it, mixed with detailed tiny models to large scale automata.’

One of the most exciting pieces is Will Jackson’s Robo Thespian (pictured) – Photo: Chris O’Shea.

Jeppe Hein’s Rolling Ball kinetic sculpture

March 27, 2007 by · Comments Off 

DistanceHere is something else to see on your upcoming visit to London. Danish artist Jeppe Hein has created a site-specific installation for The Curve at The Barbican.
The piece is called ‘Distance’ and you can see it working here.

Visitors trigger the rolling balls by entering the space, so the experience varies depending on how busy it is. If you can visit when it is quiet you will be able to follow your own ball from start to finish. Good fun.

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