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A Curious Turn: moving, mechanical sculpture

Five Artists Reflect on their Waning Powers. Paul Spooner, 1983, Limewood, bamboo, Baltic pine, beech, plywood, acrylic paint, steel and brass. Crafts Council Collection, W49. Photo: Todd-White Art Photography.

An exhibition of moving mechanical sculpture

Automata are sculptures which are brought magically to life through a sequence of cogs, cams, cranks and levers. For centuries they have delighted and bewitched people.

A Curious Turn features automata from the leading makers of the last 40 years, ranging from the humorous to the macabre and from the playful to the satirical. 

Visitors will be able to turn, push and crank to see many of the pieces in action, while other pieces will have films to show them in motion. Amongst many others some key makers and automata promoters explored in the exhibition are Sam Smith, Paul Spooner, Melanie Tomlinson, Ron Fuller and Sue Jackson.


  • Concessionary admission price and carers go free
  • The museum is on the ground floor and there is a lift to the first floor
  • Accessible toilet on the ground floor
  • The museum galleries and activity studio have step-free access
  • Guide, hearing and assistant dogs welcome
  • large print text available
  • Cafe available on the ground floor with step free access
  • Group visits available for people with learning disabilities

For more information on Heath Robinson Museum accessibility please click here.