Scott Eady: 100 Bikes Project, Part 1
08 Oct 2011 – 12 Feb 2012
"I want parents to be able to come in here and watch their kids get enjoyment from it."
From a motley collection sourced from rubbish dumps and second hand shops, Eady has carefully and expertly customised each bicycle.
Most exhibitions ask visitors to ‘look but don’t touch’. They don’t often invite you to go for a ride. Children can select a bike to ride through the gallery, activating and completing the artwork through their participation. Intended by the artist as the first part of a larger project, the exhibition displays around 50 children’s bikes, trikes and scooters, scaled for ages 3–8.
From a motley collection sourced from rubbish dumps and second hand shops, each bicycle is now beautifully customised and restored. Over the last 6 months the bicycles have undergone significant transformation; first dismantled, then sandblasted, parts replaced, chromed and assembled once more. Finally, in a twist on the tradition of an artist’s signature, each bike is fitted with a badge inscribed with the 100 Bikes Project logo.
Although the exhibition operates as a moving event as much as static display, the material quality of the objects remains important. 50 versions of one essential shape, 100 Bikes: Part 1 can be seen as a selection of exquisitely rendered sculptural or design forms.
At the heart of the exhibition is the experience of childhood, a theme running through much of Eady’s recent work. The starting point for 100 Bikes Project: Part 1 was a trip one Christmas to a recycle shop to purchase bikes for his own children. As the artist explains; “the process of collecting the bikes from the dump, stripping them down, re-painting the frames and replacing parts that were beyond repair was a valuable lesson in recycling.”
Within 100 Bikes Project: Part 1 the idea of learning is paramount, particularly the skills gained as a child moves from training wheels to a sense of their own propulsion. Scott Eady has said; “We want to protect our children from all dangers but realise the need to instil them with the tools necessary to negotiate a not-always friendly world”.
For safety reasons, limited numbers of children are allowed to ride the bikes at any one time, so in busy times please wait patiently until a host tells you it's your turn. Helmets are supplied by The Dowse.