Mechatronic Circus Schools Exhibition

6 December 2000 to 16 June 2001

Education Through ExhIbitions, in collaboration with Fernando Palma Rodriguez, Chestnut Grove Secondary School
Guy’s Evelina Hospital School, Hayes School, Parkhill Junior School, Stockwell Infants School

198 Gallery’s Schools Exhibition 2000 presented work made by school children in response to Mechatronic Circus, based on the residency at the 198 Gallery by the artist Fernando Palma Rodriguez, from 22 March to 13 May 2000, followed by an exhibition from 23 May to 24 June. 198 Gallery commissioned the artist to make new interactive work for exhibition, which furthered the characterisation and technical possibilities of robotic machines created by the artist.

The 198 Gallery ‘Education through Exhibitions’ programme based on Mechatronic Circus invited the artists Hew Locke and Brian Griffiths to interpret the work of Fernando Palma Rodriguez in a series of gallery and school based workshops. Five schools contributed to the programme: Stockwell Infants School, Park Hill Junior School, Chestnut Grove Secondary School, Hayes School and Guy’s Evelina Hospital School.

The Artist And His Work
Fernando Palma Rodriguez is a Mexican-born artist who has shown his work internationally, and the exhibition at 198 Gallery is his first solo exhibition in the UK. His work bridges the gap between technology, art, storytelling and ecology, and addresses issues particularly relevant at the dawn of the new millennium. By conferring upon his machines a mystic dimension, Palma Rodriguez challenges the usual status of technology and explores new possibilities of expression. Moreover, by using recycled materials, the artist presents an investigation into the responsible production and use of new technologies.

Palma Rodriguez’s recent work has been instigated by a firm belief in the necessity to research new possibilities of expression in a number of contemporary technologies: electronic applications, computer programming, fine mechanics, robotics, etc. These are but a few elements of a larger context, where technology is perceived to be a changing ideology of social activity transforming the world.