THE BEWONDERMENT MACHINE is an artist-built cycle-powered carousel, a kinetic public sculpture and a magical journey for small children. Visually, this is a quirky dreamscape, combining puppetry, machinery, hand carved wooden animal and music. With riding space for up to 10, this is also a miniature theatrical flight of the imagination, empowering the very young to care, to be curious and to believe in their own strength.
Inspired by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris' beautiful book The Lost Words, THE BEWONDERMENT MACHINE is a joyful call to re-wild our imaginations, and a celebration of the creatures that are increasingly losing their familiar place in our children’s lives and in their language.
“We were delighted to programme The Bewonderment Machine at a number of festivals in 2018. This is a beautiful artistic carousel, that celebrates nature and encourages children to look around them with fresh eyes. Audiences visited time and time again as they were enchanted by the woodland animals and the characters that animated the experience….this it everything that outdoor arts for young children should be”
Sarah Bird, director, Wild Rumpus CIC
THE BEWONDERMENT MACHINE is made in collaboration with Visual Artist and Found object whisperer WESTON HAMMOND and bicycle-powered performer FRANCES MERRIMAN. Original music for the carousel written by Chris Davies. Additional performers Jonny Quick and Aya Nakamura. Additional engineering support by John Barker and Martin Green with puppet engineering by Marc Parrett. Flags made by Flora Prince
THE BEWONDERMENT MACHINE has been commissioned by Without Walls, Just So Festival, Norfolk and Norwich Festival, Brighton Festival, Salibury Festival and Stockton International Riverside Festival with support from 101 outdoor Arts.