A skeletal mariachi band clatters through a spooky tune. A dinghy crew rows vigorously through rough seas. A man eats spaghetti in the bath. They perform the same action again and again, and are just three among dozens of little gadgets and gizmos that are on display at Nelson Provincial Museum this summer!
On tour from London, Curious Contraptions explores small, surreal worlds through fantastical, often amusing mechanical sculptures known as automata. These whimsical flying, sailing, and cycling machines are brought to life by intricate arrangements of handmade cams, cranks, and other simple mechanisms. Each sculpture performs an absurd miniature drama while also reflecting its maker’s worldview and sense of humour. Exposed inner workings and low-tech mechanisms invite the viewer to understand how each one comes to life with just the push of a button or a crank of a handle. It also includes an ‘ensemble workshop’ for visitors to build their own contraptions.
This vibrant, fun-filled exhibition is sure to delight all ages!
The Musuem is open daily from 10am (closed Christmas Day)
Curious Contraption is on display 16 December – 19 February 2023
Entry by donation for Nelson Tasman residents.
Public programmes and learning opportunities will be added throughout the season.
😵 Stuck for ideas for some last-minute Christmas shopping?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! 🎁
Our Museum Shop has an amazing selection of gift ideas for all ages and interests. Not only can you find a great gift, but every purchase from our shop goes towards supporting us to care for our collection and also bring exciting exhibitions to our rohe (region).
The Museum will be closed on Christmas Day but we are here until 4:30pm on Christmas Eve, for the last-minute gift purchase!