Thursday, 17 January 2019

Circus A To Z - From Anamorphosis To Zoetrope

After our meander round the historical sites of Norwich, we wandered through the beautiful light tunnel and up into The Forum. We went to the exhibition which is part of the Circus250 celebrations.
This celebration in 2018 passed me by completely I'm afraid. Last year saw the 250th anniversary of the circus in England, and six cities, including Norwich were venues for special circus themed events. The year was ending with an exhibition in The Forum run in collaboration with the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre and the Rijksmuseum Boerhaave. 
When the girls were small, we often visited the CMT in Covent Garden and marvelled at Tim Hunkin's automata and wonderful displays. 
It was just as much fun in Norwich. Lots of exhibits around the themes of circus, illusion and automata.

Bob is looking at a zoetrope- where the cylinder spins, and through the slit, the eye sees a series of changing pictures [eg a horse galloping, or a ship sailing across the waves] and it gives the impression of movement.
Other machines showed flapping pecking birds, and dancing girls [sadly that one was broken!] Here the use of cams, cogs and pulleys enables the sailors to row as the boat rocks on the waves. 
Electricity, technology and 'awfully wild animals' brought delight to previous generations.
Anamorphosis is where a picture viewed from a different angle, or reflected in a distorting mirror, gives a whole new perspective on things. Sometimes anamorphosis included in another artwork [such as the skull in Holbein's painting 'The Ambassadors'] or it can be a horizontal picture which is reflected in a cylindrical mirror, such as the dog, chair and galleon here [Check out these ones!]

It was all good fun, and free entry too. The show runs till January 27 so do look in if you're in Norwich and feeling brave

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