A Day at the Architects by Paul Spooner
We are proud to announce our new window exhibition with works by automata maker, Paul Spooner.
“The plan is to make six objects; one for each of the six windows looking onto Bury Place. Two are done, two are thought of and two are neither done nor thought off.”
Done: ‘Physics for Cats’. Powered by a mouse wheel, a version of Galileo’s Inclined Plane apparatus gradually tilts a track on which a cat on a trolley is free to roll. When the forces of friction and gravity are overcome the cat travels from one end of the track to the other. Momentum is destroyed by buffers at either end of the track and springs that absorb some of the shock. A pair of boxwood spheres hanging under the cat’s tail demonstrate inertia.
Done: ‘Cork Cathedral’. There are two cathedrals in the city of Cork. The Protestant one was designed in the Gothic Revival style by William Burges, architect of Cardiff Castle and nearby Castel Coch. There are several towns that are named after building materials; Stone in Staffordshire and Boulder, Colorado, for example, but none offer as much fun for the playful mechanic as Cork and its Belgian twin, Liège.
Thought of: ‘Solid, Liquid, Gas’ and ‘We want a Window and we want it Here’.
Paul is making a piece every couple of weeks and so we will be adding, automating and updating as work progresses!
About Paul Spooner (b. 1948 -)
Paul took up the almost extinct profession of an automatist in his early 30’s. He moved to Cornwall with his wife Sue and started making automated devices and selling them in Sue Jackson’s shop, Cabaret, in Falmouth. Cabaret became a destination for enthusiasts of mechanical playthings with works by Paul, Peter Markey and Ron Fuller. Paul lives in Stithians, Cornwall. His workshop is attached to his house.
About Cabaret Mechanical Theatre (Est. 1979)
CMT started life as a quirky crafts shop in Falmouth called Cabaret. It was opened in 1979 by Sue Jackson and sold Peter Markey’s simple wooden toys alongside knitwear and ceramics. With the arrival of Paul Spooner, it wasn’t long before the mechanical pieces started displacing the other crafts. Sue began collecting and the work she kept remained in the shop.
CMT opened in the basement vaults in Covent Garden market in 1985. Fuller’s life-sized mechanical ticket-stamping man greeted the visitor and a riot of eccentricity, whimsicality and fun followed. CMT was forced to close its doors in 2000 however, under the relentless passion of Sue Jackson and, latterly, her daughter Sarah Alexander, the collection continues to grow and exhibit around the world.
and the connection with Rodic Davidson:
“The influence of Cabaret Mechanical Theatre in Covent Garden, in part, defined my direction in life. I remember visiting in my teens on family trips to London from Cheltenham, where I grew up. I was utterly fascinated and the influence formed part of my decision to study architecture and my continued love of experimentation, exploration and tinkering with models and mechanical things.”
Paul Spooner is represented by Cabaret Mechanical Theatre.
For further information please contact Sarah Alexander – firstname.lastname@example.org
Exhibition Dates: March 2019 – September 2019