James Capper - Sculpture and Hydraulics

I’m not interested in what machines do at the moment, I’m interested in what I can make them do tomorrow

Sculptor James Capper works with hydraulic engineering and elements of mechanical movement borrowed from the industrial world, bringing together art and engineering. In spring 2017, we invited Sculptor James Capper to exhibit 

a wide range of his sculptures, drawings and films in our galleries.  Fascinating for being recognisable yet other worldly, Capper’s machine-like sculptures suggest an interplay between art, technology and the natural world.

Alongside the exhibition, Capper collaborated with Jens Roesner and student Declan Jonckers from the Univeristy’s Department of Mechanical Engineering to create MONITOR, a new earth marking sculpture. Together they aimed to make a ‘fly by wire’ interface to control the air in the walking motion of a four-legged sculpture, similar to a lizard. The focus on robotic control was suggested by Roesner when Capper visited the department in 2016. This is the first time Capper has used a computer interface in his sculpture. As with other works, the ambition with MONITOR is to make the work as a larger prototype, that can be tested in challenging terrain.