Chris Balcombe

“Cyberman helmet”, 1985. “Please don’t sneeze”.

The new show, “The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things” is magical cabinet of curiosities. There are things to delight, to horrify, to laugh at, to bewilder…but it makes you reflect, connect and consider the shifting boundaries between the animate and the inanimate.

With such a fabulously diverse exhibition to inspire thinking and drawing, the first interaction of the show drew in a wonderful diversity of participants of all ages. It’s great to see small children excited by imagery (“It’s spinning!”), teenage BMXers amused by witty pieces (“Woofer” and the inflatable Felix the cat) and older people genuinely interested in discussing the mindset of the artist and the concept behind the curating process.

Inside the gallery, visitors were asked to imagine the thoughts of the exhibits themselves, as so many of them seem to exude of a sense of their own consciousness:

“Cogito ergo sum” – thinking things:


“Lucy. Autralopithecus Afarensis”, 2011. Marguerite Humeau. “You gave me a new mouth; why won’t you feed me!”

“Untitled”, 1944. Edmund Monsiel. “I’m so pretty, oh so pretty…”

“Untitled”, 1994. Dwight Mackintosh. “I should get a boat.”

“Rocking machine”, 1969. Herman Makkink. “Looking forward to tonight.”

“BigBoxStatueAction”, 2012. Mark Leckey. “I’m just resting. Do Not Disturb”

Boli, Mali. “Sad. Lonely. Stupid.”

“I-limb Ultra”, 2012. Touch Bionics. “I will take over the world limb by limb…”

Wurlitzer sideman drum machine. 1959-65. “My life is one of repetition – I can go faster or slower- but always the same pattern – one day when I am dead, my legacy will be heard on every popular music production.”

Meanwhile…on the terrace, under the ferocious afternoon sun… we set out a 5m square of paper for a collaborative “Rhizomic Drawing” of ideas and connections.

Visitors to the show will no doubt recognise many of the items making an appearance in the drawing:IMG_4670IMG_4675IMG_4676IMG_4677IMG_4672

If you feel inspired to take part in either of these activities, come to the DLWP on Saturday, 10th August.

Posted by Ryan Coleman on Monday 15 July 2013