The Assembly of Animals
Tim Spooner is a visual artist and performance maker. Since 2010 he has presented a series of ‘performed sculptures’ which fuse scientific experimentation together with puppetry. Creating vibrating compositions of living and inanimate matter through a combination of sound, electricity and often mundane everyday materials, his idiosyncratic and unique performances attempt to expand our understanding of the physical world by revealing the inner life of objects. Adaptable to different environments, Spooner’s work - usually non-verbal and suitable for all ages - has been presented in puppetry, dance and visual art contexts at galleries, studio theatres and festivals across the UK and Europe.
Exemplifying the low-tech, handmade yet magical quality of Spooner’s work, The Assembly of Animals is a series of demonstrated experiments, where the performers assemble, reorganise and animate an array of ingeniously constructed ‘animals’ of very different sizes and forms. Magnets, motors, inflating objects, travelling glowing liquid and other mechanisms give this complex installation a movement and life of its own. After the performance, the audience is invited to explore the objects more closely and to discover the ways they function.
In the press
“Absolutely fascinating, undeniably bonkers” Children’s Theatre Reviews
“Tim is an artistic inventor and creates this carefully constructed world, the delicacy of which requires consistent marvelling and leaves children entertained throughout” Theatre Bristol Writers
Number of people on stage3 (including the light designer)
Number of people in touring company4
6 small parcels, total of 180kg
Scale of venueSmall-scale (capacity up to 400)
Minimum performance space5m x 7m
Text-basedLight (very little or no text)
VenueSmall Animal Hospital, Summerhall
Production dates23 – 29 AUGUST
Production times1430–1500, 1600–1630, 1730–1800 EACH DAY
28 Commercial Street
London E1 6AB
Contact for touring
Q&A and school runs: the performance can be accompanied by discussions and demonstrations for school groups, exploring the themes of the show including ideas of abstraction and life in objects. The artists can also meet the children in their schools in preparation of their trip to see the show.
Workshops: Tim Spooner is developing 2 related workshops alongside the performance (for 6-9 year olds) focusing on either science experimentation or manipulation and animation of materials and objects. There is an option for these workshops to culminate in an exhibition/installation which accompanies the show in the venue.
Producing: Artsadmin as the producer can help the host to devise and frame the presentations depending on their context and needs.