Very recently, I went with a friend to see the latest exhibition at the Heath Robinson Museum in Pinner, North London. The exhibition, entitled, “Heath Robinson’s Home Life” was intensely packed full of his whimsical illustrations and other decorated items like a collection of nursery china plates and cups. What’s really interesting is that I had this strange feeling that I’d known of his work before but from when I was a very little girl and after wandering around the collection, realised that it was from the book, “The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm”, written by Norman Hunter, where I’d first enjoyed Heath Robinson’s wonderful illustrations! The book had been a handed down, well read copy from my older cousins and which helped fuel my own fascinations in contraptions and fun inventions and is probably what inspired me to get into model making!
The illustrations in this exhibition are wonderfully quirky and funny! One of my favourites was the one with the woman who wanted to enjoy the outdoors but lived in a flat so was sitting suspended in a deck chair above the ground…..I think it was a woman! I was paying more attention to the contraptions than the people! Heath Robinson's illustrations spark that childlike imagination we all have of unexpected adventures to distant shores via strange homemade vehicles equipped with all your basic necessities and ready for all possibilities!
I’m so glad I’ve learned about this wonderful museum as their permanent collection is really interesting too as is the contents of their shop! It was a fun experience and totally inspired me to get back to my own studio and get creating!
In the permanent collection, there are a few of his actual models that move if a dial is turned. They were wonderful and I spent a lot of time watching how each part moved. I definitely look forward to visiting again as there are some upcoming exhibitions in the next month that look very interesting and I’d also like another in-depth look at their permanent collection of Heath Robinson’s work. The gallery also has an activity room which I'm most curious about so I expect I'll be visiting again soon!
The current exhibit, “Heath Robinson’s Home Life” will finish this coming Sunday, 24th of February 2019, so do go and visit if you have a chance before it finishes! Next to the gallery, in the house, there's a lovely tea shop too. It's a very nice place for a fun day adventure if you're looking to escape the noise of London!
My name is Franceska McCullough and I'm the owner and artist of Toothpickmoon. I'm interested in blogging about art materials, art events and conducting artist interviews.
*Disclosure: The links I'm using on this blog will only ever relate to the products I myself use in my own practice.