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Ben and Sam enjoying the Automata Exhibition at the Hastings Pier

Ben and Sam enjoying the Automata Exhibition at Hastings Pier

Automata on the Pier: a visit

HOT’s Vanessa Alves received an email from a friend telling her there was an Automata exhibition on at Hastings Pier and suggested it would be great for her boys. Here she writes up her experience of this fascinating exhibition.

It just so happens that the kids had an Inset day at the school on Friday and we thought we would down there and check it out. We also brought with us our Super-Granny (we call her that instead of great-granny) and it was so much fun exploring the world of automata.

As you come into the space, your eye is drawn to the big ship with a handle at the front; it was so satisfying to turn it and watch it move, as if it was on the sea – and hearing it make a loud clanging noise when you least expected it.

The big ship.

The big ship.

My favourite was the artist that looked a little frazzled in its show case – and the boys just wondered from case to case, completely immersed. Each exhibit was unique, interesting and entertaining. My youngest was absolutely fascinated by the gears and the cogs and how they in turn made things move and work. My eldest enjoyed how each one was so intricately painted and told a story.

Super-Granny is an artist and she particularly appreciated how wonderfully creative and intricate they were, especially the donations box that had birds singing and how the coins ran down the back and gonged the bell at the bottom.

It was amazing to see how much joy the automata brought to young and old alike. I saw how people came in, were delighted by the simple act of pushing a button or turning a handle and how these objects came to life – including me.

There were some delicate ones that I had to maneuver my youngest away from, but the volunteers were extremely friendly and well prepared for little hands that were  excited to play with the automata.


Sam with his Super-Granny

The imagination on display was captivating and we spent a long time there, as well as enjoying the beautiful view of the sea as we drank our drinks.

It is definitely worth a look! Entry is free and they also have lots of workshops that we will hopefully be attending in the future. It is definitely something to keep in mind over the Easter Holidays as it runs right up until 15 April. It’s great for all ages, when you have to think about how to keep boredom at bay and get everyone some fresh air at the same time.

All photos by Vanessa Alves.

Click on the link below for more information and read the HOT article: Cabaret Mechanical Theatre.

Posted 08:56 Thursday, Apr 5, 2018 In: Public Arts

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