MAD Scientist

By geraldyuen, 24 July 2014

Bob Potts' flair for mechanics brings his works of art to life


Bob Potts' love for art motivates him to create extraordinary sculptures that are practically 'alive', as opposed to being relegated to mere mechanical object status.

The 72-year-old's work revolves around creating exquisite kinetic sculptures that capture the essence of natural rhythmical movements, with this visual grace replicating familiar everyday motions such as the flight of birds, oars of boats and even the highly complex mechanical movements of vehicles, for instance.

His work is housed in MB&F's Mechanical Art Devices Gallery, a hybrid retail concept store in Geneva that boasts watch boutique and art gallery, both of which are dedicated to the world of mechanical art.

MB&F watches are already known for producing micro-mechanical kinetic sculptures; Bob Potts' work gives us the perfect opportunity to appreciate a similar philosophy, albeit in a slightly different context.

The result is a captivating universe of machines that blends MB&F's very own timekeeping machines with other forms of mechanical art. M.A.D Gallery showcased seven of Bob's kinetic sculptures.

With the help of gears, cranks, sliders and levers, they are named Ascension, Pursuit II, G-Plane, Wings, Synchronous Cycle, Denizen of the Deep and Cosmographic Voyager. Of these seven pieces, Synchronous Cycle, Cosmographic Voyager and Denizen of the Deep still grace the gallery, while the rest have found homes with new owners.

Potts' art reflects his lifestyle. The man who started life as a carpenter, musician, mechanic and builder of mechanical ball sculptures does not try to rush his art; it takes up to one year for him to finalise each project ' such is the detail and passion that helps to translate his ideas to visual form in seamless fashion.

The movements are surprisingly minimalist, despite the technical complexity of Potts' sculptures. The entire effect, we admit, is rather soothing to the eyes, and we reckon these sculptures will snare the hearts of many a petrolhead.

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Story: Gerald Yuen

Photographs: M.A.D Gallery

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