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Lose Yourself In The Captivating Kinetic Sculptures of Jennifer Townley

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Netherlands-based artist Jennifer Townley combines wood, metal, and electrical motors to build spellbinding mechanical creations.

Above: Townley's 2014 sculpture, "Bussola."

Townley calls her latest sculpture "Asinas." Her website explains that, like all her pieces, it is derived "from her fascination with science, with an emphasis on physics, engineering and mathematics":

Geometric patterns in Islamic art or mathematical drawings of Dutch artist M. C. Escher often serve as an inspiration. Images where lines and figures match each other so perfectly they could be repeated indefinitely. This infinity, regularity and obedience is what Townley also finds fascinating about mechanical machines; they are robust, strenuous and seemingly immortal. She is captivated by how a machine can convert a simple circular motion (rotary engine) into a very complicated nonlinear or chaotic movement pattern.


The complexity of these patterns has a way of breathing life into Townley's work. For all their inanimate parts, her pieces tend to look remarkably alive, appearing to move organically and unpredictably through what are – we must remind ourselves – predetermined motions. Consider another of Townley's pieces, entitled "Lift":


Another favorite: "Bussola." Named after the Italian word for "compass," Townley says this sculpture draws inspiration from one of Leonardo da Vinci's designs for such a tool:

Beautiful, no? Reminds me a little of a strandbeest running in place.

See more of Townley's work on her website.


H/t Colossal!