Folk Art Maritime Logo

Gallery Ramblings


James Ward in his studio James Ward - Mobile and Kinetic Art
(December 16, 2014)
(Click on photos for a larger view)

James lives in Steam Mill, a small rural community between Kentville and Halls Harbour in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. By day he manages the receiving department for the Annapolis Valley Health Authority and in his free time carves, walks in the woods, and does ice climbing in the winter. He does his carving in a cluttered shed behind his home which bears a sign “Angrybuzzard”. He has been carving since the early years of the 21st century and has put together a collection of carved insects and birds mounted on free swinging wooden branches. These carvings could be called mobiles or even kinetic art. Essentially, kinetic art utilizes motion for its overall effect. Mobiles are kinetic sculptures capable of motion but in balance when at rest. Kinetic art requires motion for its effect but James' sculptures are perfectly happy when at rest.

A few of James' current mobiles.

Bee & Praying Mantis
Bee and Praying Mantis
Fly & Spider
Fly and Spider

Alexander Calder (1898 –1976) was an American artist who originally studied mechanical engineering and later became a sculptor. He is considered to be the originator of the mobile sculpture and its stationary cousin the stabile. Shown below are some of Calder's sculptures.

Alexander Calder
Calder with a mini mobile

Mobile from the Tate Gallery
A Calder mobile at the
Tate Gallery
Large mobile in Stuttgart
A mobile at Stuttgart

A cat mobile
A breeze-driven cat mobile

Some mobiles by other artists

Mobiles of various forms have been around for a very long time. For centuries, Scandinavians have made them out of straw. They were hung to celebrate thanksgivings and fend off evil spirits.  Christian Flensted of Denmark has made a business of manufacturing mobiles since the 1950's. He ships them all over the world.

straw mobile

Three Storks Mobile
by Christian Flensted
Wooden Coat Hangers Mobile
Wooden Hangers Mobile
by Man Ray (1920's)
Fabric Fish Mobile
 Fabric Fish Mobile
by Kirsty Elson

Exploring the meaning and limits of mobile art.

Mobile Art Car
Mobile Car a la Piet Mondrian
by Emily Duffy

Mobile Art in the Subway
Subway car mobile art
artist unknown