This Post is long overdue. The last three weeks have been spent busily working at Grass roots Community Garden in Failsworth, creating kinetic bicycle sculptures for the Illuminate Festival which happens this Saturday, 14th April along the Rochdale Canal in Failsworth, Oldham.
For the GrassRoots workshops, I’ve teamed up with Richard Dawson - artist extraordinaire of all things mechanical and kinetic. Richard is working on another part of the Catalyst project in Oldham called ‘Salvage!’ and you can follow his blog here:
As there are lots of similarities between ArtBikes (art from, with and using bikes) and Salvage (kinetic junk sculpture), we’ve teamed up to make….kinetic junk sculpture - from bikes!
We’ve been working with several groups of people including: volunteers from Grass Roots Community Garden (Darren) Chadderton Court Art Group (Andy, Dennis, Scott and Maxine) and Failsworth Youth Centre (Sam, Sam, Steven, Dale, Ste, Daniel, Levi, Peter and Martin), plus assistance from art student/ volunteer youth worker Hebe Phillips.
We’ve been making 2 large kinetic sculptures, made mainly of old bikes and bike parts but incorporating all kinds of stuff like wheelbarrows and bed-bases. One is a giant fish which swims through the air and the other is a giant bird which flaps its wings and looks a bit like a pterodactyl. Both of them are powered by a human pedaller, sat on a reconfigured bike below the sculpture. For the Illuminate festival, they will be stationary on the canal bankside, but for the next festival (Manchester Day Parade – 10th June) they will be on wheels and towed by other bikes.
Here’s a selection of photos showing the fish and the bird taking shape as the weather changes over 3 weeks in Spring.
Many, many thanks to Sarah and everyone at GrassRoots for giving us such a great space to work in and for putting up with all our mess. The end results will be worth it…