‘Machines’ – exhibited at the New Dimensions exhibition at The Museum of Somerset Jan – April 2016.

Machines consisted of 20 illuminated images presented within archival museum boxes plus a moving image sequence. All images were anaglyph (they appear 3 dimensional when viewed through special glasses).

The works are inspired by frequent trips to the machine stores at The Somerset Heritage Centre. These stores contain machines designed for agricultural, industrial and domestic use. There are machines of all shapes and sizes, spanning hundreds of years.

David Walker, the archivist who supported me in my investigation of these stores, was always keen to explain the purpose and age of those machines that caught my eye. However without that historical and social context the objects, from an aesthetic perspective, become abstract and intriguing sculptures.

I started making macro (close up) photographs of the machines. My intention was to produce composite pictures that combine these isolated details using digital technology. This has resulted in photo-artworks of fictitious machines composed of a complex mix of wheels, levers and gears.

After its run at The Museum of Somerset the show when onto be exhibited at ‘The Wall’ at Musgrave Hospital, co-ordinated by Art for Life.

Richard Tomlinson