Ruthin Craft Centre
The Centre for the Applied Arts

Coming Soon Gallery 2

Martin Smith: Little Machines

18 January – 29 March 2020

“I was one of those children who was always taking things apart and putting them back together again. I wanted to know how things worked and that combined with a love of art and design has given me a living. People often think my work is a bit frivolous, particularly when they look at something like the applause machine, but there is often a sarcastic or dark undertone. Its cheerfulness is underpinned with cynicism.”

Martin Smith is a Huddersfield artist engineer whose mechanical sculptures are exhibited worldwide. Collectors include Sir Paul Smith who has several of Martin’s pieces as did the late actress Carrie Fisher. Martin, an avid Star Wars fan is particularly proud Princess Leia owned some of his designs.

Everything Martin does is meticulously planned. Ideas for new work are sketched neatly in notebooks and each prototype is made with as much care as the final, finished object. “Something like the heart machine has dozens of different pieces and is entirely handmade. I know some people think that I buy the components in and it’s just a matter of assembly, but honestly it’s not. Every nut, every bolt is made from scratch.”

This is a hands-on exhibition which invites you to carefully turn a handle, drop a coin or wave a hand to bring these incredible works to life.

In association with Harley Gallery