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The Art of Wadkin

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AndyT

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I popped into Tate Britain on Monday. I had a bit of a look at the famous paintings by Turner and Constable, but then spotted something that looked more interesting, on the far side of a big door. Peeking through a gap I thought the gallery staff must have still been working on a new display, but the door was not locked, so I wandered in.





Some big lumps of England's finest old tools, by Wadkin and others, were on display on top of giant plinths.











Not the usual sort of thing to find in an art gallery, but you can't deny that they have an abstract, sculptural appeal as well as looking useful and ripe for restoration and being put back to use.

The display is by an artist called Mike Nelson and it's called "The Asset Strippers". All the items on display have been bought at auction and come from closed down businesses. There's a point in there somewhere about how Britain has moved away from making things, and one consequence is that to all but a tiny and shrinking minority of people, these things look huge, antique and as puzzling as something from an Egyptian pyramid. You can read more about the exhibition here

https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-b ... ike-nelson

and visit it, free of charge, until the 6th of October.

Sadly, there are no Wadkins in the gift shop. :(
 

MikeG.

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There was I thinking I was the first to come up with the metalworking-vice-in-the-woodworking-vice wheeze......... :lol:
 

LancsRick

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We're all lusting after the machinery (can't blame anyone!), but I really don't understand for the life of me how this is art!
 

Phil Pascoe

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LancsRick":3tohgm85 said:
We're all lusting after the machinery (can't blame anyone!), but I really don't understand for the life of me how this is art!
Back in the early '90s Cornwall Association of Woodturners approached the Tate in St. Ives and asked if they would be interested in putting on a small exhibition in the winter when it was quiet. A nice letter came back thanking them very much for the offer, but it had to be declined because there was no way woodturning could be considered art. :? :D
 

MikeG.

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phil.p":7jn680ka said:
MikeG.":7jn680ka said:
There was I thinking I was the first to come up with the metalworking-vice-in-the-woodworking-vice wheeze......... :lol:
:D How many decades ago did you do it?
Probably 3, maybe 4........at least 6 decades late, I reckon, judging by those photos.
 

Vann

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Thanks Andy. Those two LQ boring and recessing machines, both with identical lamps, look great. Both must have come from the same workshop.


As does this RS woodlathe.


Can you sneak back in and get photos of the Wadkin tags (showing machine and test numbers)?

I can hear Wallace starting up his van, on his way to collect these :wink:


Cheers, Vann.
 

Geoff_S

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It's all very well getting gooey eyed, but what's the installation trying to say? :?
 
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