Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Once upon a time…

…and long before quartz mechanism was invented, there were watches which made the wonder of all kids for their intricate winding devices made of different sorts of tiny metal pieces and wheels working with precision on a never-ending spinning movement, whirling in an endless tic-tac that triggered their imagination and set the windmills of their minds dreaming of fairy tales. They exerted a fascination upon all and, for many, it was – in fact – the first and most cherished “grown-up” possession they all wanted to have.

If, by chance or misfortune, anyone had the opportunity of seeing one of those “magic time-machines” dismantled into its parts, another sort of spell started to work for, in their different shapes, sizes and variety, they offered themselves as pieces of a puzzle that challenged one’s imagination and creativity.

And that was exactly what happened to Sue Beatrice. An American designer based in Glassboro, New Jersey, she started the “All Natural Arts” project with the objective of producing earth-friendly carving, sculptures, paintings and jewellery, in an initiative that also made use of sea glass, stones and other natural elements, as well as vintage jewellery pieces. Fascinated by the potential offered by antique watches, she created “The Dance of Time”, a collection of objects entirely crafted from watch parts, which she used exactly as she found them, having introduced no alteration, cutting or drilling to their respective shapes.

In fact, the outcome is a unique kind of art which relies exclusively on the artist’s talent and imagination. As a result of the miniature size of the elements used in her compositions, Sue Beatrice’s very detailed artworks seem to have come out of a dream world of fairies, goblins and leprechauns.  Actually, the delicate beauty of these objects is such that viewers may feel they are under a magic spell which drives them to hold the tiny pieces in their hands.

This artist produces what is commonly known as steampunk art, which – as the name may suggest – features machinery parts evoking the times of the Industrial Revolution and steam-powered engines. It draws inspiration from the 19th-century British Victorian age, also resorting to themes connected to fantasy, art noveau design and films from the mid-20th-century.

In a way, by looking at these mesmerising objects, people may feel they have been placed in a sort of time- machine and catapulted to the fictional dimension in which every tale has a happy ending in which everybody lives happily ever after.

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