Jamie and I were introduced around fifteen years ago by a mutual friend who thought that the two people he knew who both made kinetic sculpture (mobiles) would probably have quite a lot in common! We have been married for 15 years, and have been collaborating on art projects throughout that time alongside Jamie’s work in education (he is a Deputy Head in our local comprehensive school). We live in Ilkley with our two daughters.
Jamie and I believe passionately that mobiles possess a set of very specific formal and aesthetic qualities which make them relevant, compelling and unique in a number of ways. These are:
Balance – The world is held in a state of equilibrium which has led to the perfect conditions for life. It is only now that the natural world is at risk that we are coming to appreciate how delicate that balance is and how hard it is to recover it once it has been lost and this idea of the fragility of balance is what underpins our work. Mobiles involve the counter-balancing of different, often heavy, elements but the points of equilibrium are miniscule. A single breath blowing on the shapes can radically change the way the mobile turns and each and every part of a mobile is crucial to the balance of the whole. This is suggestive of ideas of community and value.
Freedom within a structure – The individual elements within each mobile have a limited sphere of movement but within that space they explore every possible configuration and relationship. It is impossible to predict the ever changing shapes that a mobile will create as it moves.
Mindfulness and engagement – The fluid movement of mobiles is engaging and they invite the viewer to search for the next shape, the next configuration. In this way they draw us in and ground us in the present moment, encouraging mindfulness and contemplation. As a result we have found that mobiles can perform a therapeutic function. Someone once said of them that “paradoxically the movement creates a stillness in the viewer, rather like watching the sea or the flight of a bird.”
Secondary forms – Mobiles invite us to look at the changing spaces generated in-between the shapes and how they interact with their physical context by creating shadows and framing what is behind them. These shadows and spaces can be seen as aesthetic experiences in their own right, in effect secondary artforms created by the original artwork as it interacts with its environment.
“I have always loved Juliet and Jamie’s work and admired it at exhibitions, but I never anticipated how much I would enjoy living with a mobile in my home. It has become a focal point in our living space: we watch it move, observe the shadows it creates at different times of the day and all of my family have commented on its calming nature. The oak and ash compliment the landscape beyond. It’s unique, beautifully made and a very special work of art.”
“What I love about Jamie and Juliet’s mobiles is that they give me such pleasure. I’ve hung mine in the dining area of my kitchen, and the altering light and air currents of the room reflect on the mobile under which I sit watching it change and move.”
‘As a depression sufferer, to gaze at the silent, gentle movements casting weird and wonderful shadows on the wall has been therapeutic. My mobile is a beautifully crafted, moving piece of art. Thank you Juliet and Jamie.’
‘Our mobile gives me a sense of lightness and movement. I love the shapes and smooth, patterned wood if you look closely. It is ever-changing.’
‘It is the silent harmonies which are endlessly fascinating.’
We are currently developing our wooden mobiles to be fully sustainable. This includes every material which we use, from the wood to the glue and the hanging wire. More details to follow.