‘Automata’ exhibition begins today at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery

‘Cat and Birds’ by Susan Evans, exhibited in ‘Ingenious Contraptions’

Hastings Museum & Art Gallery has partnered with Cabaret Mechanical Theatre to curate an art exhibition of mechanical sculptures known as ‘automata’ in Hastings this summer.

The exhibition, titled Ingenious Contraptions, is as much for families as it is for art enthusiasts, with the automata said to capture humour and offer ‘alluring illusions’. They will be exhibited with carefully selected mechanical items from the museum for visitors to look at.

“We’re so thrilled to have Hastings Museum & Art Gallery open to the public again,” said Councillor Paul Barnett, lead Councillor for regeneration. “It’s great to have such an interesting and innovative exhibition to welcome visitors back.

“The museum team have worked tirelessly to ensure the museum is as COVID-secure as possible, so visitors can come and feel safe while viewing these fascinating mechanical structures.

“We would like to say a big thank you in particular to Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, to Falmouth Art Gallery and to Anthony Horowitz for the support to help make this exhibition possible.”

‘Green Shopping’ by Peter Markey, exhibited in ‘Ingenious Contraptions’

Sarah Alexander, owner of Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, said “we are delighted to be exhibiting locally once again following on from our exhibition on Hastings Pier in 2018. This exhbition features automata from the Falmouth Art Gallery collection who have kindly loaned us some of their wonderful pieces which will be shown alongside Paul Spooner’s The English Spring and two other major pieces, including God’s Wonderful Railway by the late Keith Newstead.

Anthony Horowitz OBE, automata collector and Authur of Foyle’s War, said “Hastings has always been one of my favourite seaside towns. It’s a perfect location for Ingenious Contraptions.

“I have been collecting automata for years, and I can assure you some of the greatest names of this peculiar and unique cottage industry (and quite a few of them do indeed live in cottages) will be found together under one roof.

“The exhibition runs for three three months and is perfectly at home in Hastings. Quirky, imaginative, exhilarating—if you want to celebrate the end of lockdown, I can’t imagine a more entertaining day out.”

Ingenious Contraptions runs from May 20th to August 29th.

For more information visit www.hmag.org.uk

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