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Marvellous Mechanicals

Blinking Glass Eyes, Drumming Fingers And Drawing Machines: Marvellous Mechanicals which Surprise and Intrigue

Time & Date: Saturday 17th June to Saturday 29th July

A mechanical menagerie of artistic inventions will feature in a new exhibition that starts a tour Lancashire and Yorkshire venues this summer. Marvellous Mechanicals which opens in June at Accrington Library, Lancashire, brings together a collection of ingenious moving sculptures that surprise and intrigue, by five of the UK’s best inventors, makers and tinkerers who explore movement in their artworks.

This ‘hands on’ exhibition invites you to interact with the objects on display: come along to turn a handle, drop a coin and wave a hand. These moving sculptures, from beautifully simple wooden automata to bespoke robotics, reveal their makers’ curiosity about the world around them. Works on display include:
- I See You, a glass eye set in brass, which suddenly appears alive as it seems to follow you around the room, by artist Jim Bond.

- The Potting Shed, Lisa Slater’s playful imagining of a traditional potting shed, complete with swirling bird and mouse, made from hand carved wood.

- Fingers, a mechanical copy of creator Nik Ramage’s hand which continually drums its fingers.
- The Cache Machine by artist Martin Smith- drop in a coin and watch it move mesmerizingly along the machine until it drops with a ping into the tray below.

Marvellous Mechanicals
will delight and inspire people of all ages, and will tour to:

  • Accrington Library, Lancashire 17 June - 29 July, Lancashire
  • Craven Museum & Gallery, Skipton, 5 August – 23 September 2017
  • Catterick Library, Catterick Garrison 30 September – 16 December 2017
  • Platform Gallery, Clitheroe, 19 January – 24 March 2018

Curator Grace Whowell comments: “These moving machines reveal their makers interests which span the human body, the space around it and the passing of time. Our interactions with everyday objects, other humans and the animal world also provide inspiration, often with a good dose of humour thrown in!”

Balint Bolygo’s drawing machines explore hidden natural elements and patterns.
Jim Bond
makes kinetic and figurative sculptures which interact with the world around them.
Nik Ramage makes machines without a use and objects that have forgotten their purpose.
Lisa Slater creates automata with charm using traditional craftsmanship. 
Martin Smith’s kinetic maquettes slowly investigate repetition, precision and rules.

Marvellous Mechanicals will open on Saturday 17 June at Accrington Library, Lancashire until Saturday 29 July, before going on tour. There is also an inspirational programme of talks and inventive workshops planned, visit

This exhibition is the first in a new series of Art Unpacked, a Chrysalis Arts project bringing high quality contemporary art and craft to small and unusual venues across North Yorkshire, East Lancashire and East Riding of Yorkshire and is curated by Chrysalis Arts and Grace Whowell.

Images from top: Jim Bond - Eye, Lisa Slater - Potting Shed & in her studio


Accrington Library
St James Street

Tel: 08450 530005

Website: Link