How Studio Motionworks Is 'Slowing Down Time' With Its Kinetic Art

Moondulum, Zephyr
Moondulum, ZephyrStudio Motionworks

One of the only artforms that is extended in both time and space, kinetic art is a manifestation of humans' fascination with motion — electric motor-powered sculptures, wind sculptures, or optical illusions that give the impression of movement. Over the years kinetic art has been influenced by constructivism reflecting modern industrial society and urban space, or the opposite where it's used in an anarchic, satirical spirit, to comment on the potential enslavement of humankind by science, technology, and capitalist production.

Rooted in the concept of cybernetics, kinetic art also draws analogies between machines and human bodies. Rather than regarding the two entities as radically different — one being soulless and functional, the other governed by intuition and insight, it's used to imply that humans might be little more than irrational engines of conflicting lusts and urges, like dysfunctional machines.

The only one of its kind, a homegrown studio called Motionworks, founded by artist and musician Anuj Anjaria, is using kinetic art to highlight the beauty of nature through mechanical processes. The Ahmedabad-based studio strikes a compelling balance between artistic creativity and innovation. It specializes in “things which move” and is at the forefront in making kinetic sculptures, kinetic lighting, moving building facades, and anything that walks the line of art and engineering.

FireflyStudio Motionworks

A creation of Studio Motionsowkrs, 'Firefly' is a light sculpture that retains the softness and gentleness of the insect with its hand finished brass wings supported with finely formed stainless steel armature. Making a smooth, graceful and super silent movement illuminating the space with a teak wood light marking it's head and it's tail the Firefly, with its intricate, well crafted and finely profiled forms, keeps the onlooker enthralled with serenity.

The Funny Bone
The Funny BoneStudio Motionworks

At Abhivyakti's 3rd edition, a multidisciplinary arts festival, Anuj collaborated with conceptual artist, Siddhartha Kararwal to create 'The Funny Bone', a blend of Abstract art and realism. The moving column of the backbone signifies an “oscillating funny bone obviously when tickled nicely” on one side and a rudderless shaky man on the other depicting the present escapist and non-committal society. Following their style of kinetic architecture, this sculpture is divided into two parts extrapolating the concept of cause and effect.

ZephyrStudio Motionworks

'Zephyr' is a site specific wind sculpture, conceptualized, manufactured and installed by team Motionworks in collaboration with Kakani Associates, an architecture company in Ahemdabad. The form inspired by the airy dalliance of butterflies, is perched atop a hill, overlooking the Bay of Bengal. The sculpture meditatively moves around a central post with an elegant 3 pronged base, all fabricated in electroplated SS316 stainless steel by team Motionworks. 'Zephyr' means a gently flowing breeze and the sculpture is an instrument of its manifestation.

Much like fine art, kinetic art hints at the sacred, it explores the interconnectedness of humans and nature and inspires transcendent states of being by bringing in the element of time, slowing down our own inner chaos that is channelled on to the movements of a sculpture, making us a traveller in a story other than our own, for a little while.

Follow Motionworks here.