Friday, 21 September 2012

'The Corner Dairy, number 1' shifts to Blueskin Bay Gallery

by Paul Cardno, the artist

Charles kicks off a new season at the Blueskin Gallery with 'The Corner Dairy, number1'. This was unloaded and installed from the back of a truck two weeks ago on a sunny Blueskin day. Activity is prolific in 'The Corner Dairy, number1' with numbered balls chasing each other forever more. This is not your normal dairy by any stretch of the imagination, but extremely appropriate for it to be placed in the Blueskin Gallery.

Jack helps Paul move 'The Corner Dairy, number 1' into Blueskin Bay Gallery, thanks Jack.


If you are wanting to buy lollies, newspaper or food then it's best to go across the road to the store. But if you are looking to see some kinetic art, then 'The Corner Diary, number 1' might be something that interests you and it certainly is something that has interested me.

This sculpture is a maze of wire tracks (82 meters in total) with 16 balls continuously rolling, looping, spinning, doing backflips, turns and twists. It's two metres high with the tracks painted blue and I have an Archimedes spiral in the centre (orange), that is motor-driven and takes the balls up to the top again, beginning their routine to the bottom again. I've spent some four years building this machine, the last two getting the balls to stay on the tracks long enough for me to release it to the public. I've had it in my workshop on Thornicroft Rd for months doing its thing, day in and day out, testing, refining and tuning. During this period I've called it an expensive alarm clock, as the timer on it would mean that it would wake Karen (my partner) and me up in the morning -- the workshop is right under our bedroom!


During the two years of tuning and refining I've added in some smarts to make it all run smoothly. Under the hood there are five micro-controllers, a cell phone, quite a few infra-red sensors and some small motors. Together these sense if the balls are running properly, and if not some of the motors are turned on to try and correct this. If this doesn't work then the sculpture is switched off and I get sent a txt message. This happens about once every couple of months (the cellphone is actually inside a round blue box about half way up the sculpture, put there because at my workshop in Thornicroft road this was the only place that I could get reception and still have the cable reach the bottom).


It's hard to describe, so I'm hoping that the photos will give an indication of what it's all about, and here are some of the things that I love about it: a) It's semi-chaotic, balls will just fall off for no reason (I did try to make them stay on then I realised that it was way cool to have chaos). b) It has a catapult, which fires all the balls that have fallen off, back onto the main track (powered by 240 volts it was one of the scariest things to make). c) There is a wire knot within the sculpture. I'm told that it's a trefoil knot. d) There is a ferris wheel. And e) there is lots of colour movement and noise.


Paul putting on some final element before it's switched on.


I've had this sculpture in Wall St Mall for the last several months and I'm really happy to bring it back to our local gallery for the next several weeks. If you are keen to check it out, the Blueskin Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday, 10:30am to 4:00pm. I've really enjoyed making it, and I hope that you can get some time to see and enjoy it also.

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