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Amazing Automata

2nd August 2013

Photo Gallery

Photograph of Amazing Automata

An unusual exhibition of twenty performing automata from Cabaret Mechanical Theatre opens at the St Fergus Gallery, Wick on 10th August until 7th September.

The machines, or mechanical toys, come to life when visitors press a button and activate the mechanisms. The miniature performances are funny, strange and unexpected - a man in a bath practices eating spaghetti, a row of dancing ladies perform the can-can; a small dog has taken up skiing and a monkey rows a banana boat. Their antics entice visitors to come closer to the action.

The machines are hand-crafted by nine contributing artist-engineers, each with their own style Paul Spooners Anubis pieces are triumph of engineering complexity and humour; Peter Markeys characters are simple and colourful and Fi Henshall uses found objects to create unique and elegant scenes. The machines have travelled round the world from Bangkok to Tokyo, Australia to USA.

Automata have a long and varied history, from the Japanese Karakuri ningo tradition to the Golden Age of French automata in the 18th century. Jacksons Cabaret Mechanical Theatre re-awakened interest in automata by re-inventing them in a contemporary style, drawing on British traditions of satire, whimsy and comedy. Many of the original machines are in the exhibition at the St Fergus Gallery, where they sleepily await visitors to press their buttons and trigger them into action!

St Fergus Gallery
Sinclair Terrace, Wick, Caithness, KW1 5AB
01955 603 489
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Opening Times
Monday 12 - 5:30pm
Tuesday 12 - 5:30pm
Thursday 12 - 5:30pm
Friday 2pm - 8pm
Saturday 10:30 - 1pm

 

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