Did you have a mobile above your cot when you were a baby? Perhaps you have hung one up for your own child; one with dangling stars or mesmerising clouds to send them off to sleep. Although we usually associate mobiles as part & parcel of a nursery, they didn't start off life that way.
Mobiles are the invention of the Pennsylvania sculptor, Alexander Calder. He created the kinetic installations in 1931 to demonstrate how the harmony of the universe has an ever changing balance. Incorporating several styles and artistic movements, such as Dadaism, abstraction, and surrealism, he made a groundbreaking step forward in the way art was perceived; it was no longer a static composition, but a three dimensional, interactive, and changing form.
Calder constructed his mobiles out of aluminium, but with the outbreak of the war, such metals became scarce, and he moved on to other projects. It was only in 1945, after World War Two ended, that he went back to his mobiles, and it was during this period up to 1949, when he created what some consider his most important work.
Up until the 7th June, you will be able to see these installations at the pace gallery. With over twenty-five mobiles, including Baby Flat Top , Blue Feather, and five other miniatures, which he stored in a cigar box, you will also be able to admire some of his rarely seen paintings. and photograph documents that have never been released until now.