Time Piece, Mobile for the Theatre of Reading Town Hall and Museum Complex

Timepiece is a mobile commissioned by Reading Borough Council as part of the refurbishment of Reading Town Hall Theatre. The Victorian theatre was to be completely restored to all its original glory with the addition of upto- date services. The full height of the 19th century entrance would be seen from the street through a plate glass doorway. The architects, Design Partnership, the commissioning agents, Art Point, and the arts officer, Tammy Bedford, all proposed a contemporary artwork compatible with this space.

The space was problematic due to the central flow of people to the box office and the fact that the side walls needed to be used for posters and announcements. Visiting the site during construction was inspirational and prompted an idea for a mobile. The high space could be looked up into from the vestibule or looked down onto from a balcony. A hanging object could be suspended within the space and be seen from two different views without interfering with the function of the space below. The turning circle of the mobile was calculated and the original plan was to operate it with a slow-moving motor.

Timepiece is a complex work. Two groups of intricate circles balance and hang from a bar suspended beneath an arc and two further circles. Open linear patterns enable the viewer to look through one circle to another. The position of the onlooker determines how the different sections of the mobile appear to interact. The pale silver of the anodized aluminium floats up high and works with the gentle shades of the interior and the glass. The mobile is intended to be a part of the environment rather than a demanding focal point within it.

TIMEPIECE
MOBILE AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE THEATRE, READING TOWN HALL AND MUSEUM
ALUMINIUM
1999/2000
READING BOROUGH COUNCIL
3 M X 2.5 M X 2 CM
PHOTOGRAPHS: GEORGE GAMMER

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Model for Time Piece Mobile for the Theater of Reading Town Hall and Museum Complex



Sketch plan of parts for Time Piece Mobile, for the Theater of Reading Town Hall and Museum Complex



Time Piece Mobile for the Theater of Reading Town Hall and Museum Complex