The sculptures below explore motion and movement in different ways. In the 19th century, many artists explored the human body in motion by closely observing it in action, outside the studio or life drawing room. Henri Gaudier-Brzeska's (1891-1915) sculpture realistically conveys the dynamic of human motion, despite being a static rendering of it. Since the early 20th century artists have been exploring the possibilities of incorporating real motion into art, thus creating kinetic art. Movement was either produced mechanically through a motor, or by using the natural movement of air, such as the mobiles by Alexander Calder. Kinetic art became very popular in Britain during the 1950s and 60s, and was often combined with an interest in optical effects (Op-Art). The painter Bryan Wynter (1915-1975), created a limited number of unusual three-dimensional kinetic works called Images Moving Out Onto Space, abbreviated to IMOOS. The one held in the Bristol collection, is illustrated below with an explanation how it works, including a link to a short video showing it in motion. The artist Kenneth Martin (1905-1984), made a series Screw Mobiles in the late 1960s and early 1970s, both mechanically and naturally driven. These spiral mobiles explore the dynamics of movement by exploiting tension or contrast between stillness and the changes caused by the functions of twist and rotation. Contemporary photographs also show the importance of light and shadow they create on the surrounding walls. His mobiles resemble spiral staircases, but also naturally occurring spiral patterns, such as seen in ammonites and other mollusc shells, or scientific forms such as the double helix.
image: Bryan Wynter, detail of IMOOS 7 (K4427)