So last Monday and Tuesday if you had popped down to Quarry Bank you would have seen a few bizarre items being carried around the Mill, including a giant pea green boat, an 8ft canoe, an exercise bike, oh, and a couple of Gnu heads (not real, don’t panic!). You may have seen several members of staff (including myself) looking slightly out of breath as we attempted to transport these unusual items into the Introductory Galley. ‘Why?’ I hear you ask, well we were busy installing our brand new exhibition ‘Beastly Machines’ by artist Johnny White.
‘Beastly Machines’ is a collection of sculptures created from recycled materials, and all have a unique working part! Johnny finds inspiration from comic artists and plays on words, as well as more serious themes about society and the environment. Johnny was originally an engineer and ceramicist before turning his skills towards kinetic sculpture in 1988, and now mainly works with metal.
Supported by a National Lottery Grant from Arts Council England, and using his love of animals and an interest in mythical creatures as a starting point, Johnny has created a series of new sculptures especially for this exhibition.
I’ve been charged with the daily condition check of the exhibition which essentially means I get to go and play with the ‘Beastly Machines’ everyday! So far I think my favourite sculpture is either ‘Canoodling Gnu’s’ or ‘Lifecycle of a Mosquito’, (probably for the childish reason that they move around the most and light up) but make sure you come over and choose your own favourite! ‘Beastly Machines’ will be on display at Quarry Bank until 22nd June.
Here’s a video of Johnny explaining the inspiration for ‘Beastly Machines’: