Tim Spooner (United Kingdom)

The Assembly of Animals

14 and 15 May at 11am and 4.30pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Portuguese Premiere

Concept: Tim Spooner Lighting design: Marty Langthorne Operators: Tim Spooner, Natacha Poledica, Enrico Aurigemmo Production: Marine Thévenet/Nicky Childs, Artsadmin for Bamboo Network - The European Union’s Culture Programme Co-production: TJP-Centre Dramatique National de Strasbourg Supports: National Lottery Through Arts Council England, Cambridge Junction Acknowledgments: Chelsea Theatre, Londres Photography: Joyce Nicholls, Paul Blackemore Technique: Puppets, objects and scientific demonstrations Language: Without words For audiences over: From 3 to 103 years Running time: 30 min.

The Assembly of Animals is a performed sculpture which combines puppets, objects and scientific demonstrations. Children and adults alike are invited to witness the inner workings of a laboratory as it searches for life in material.
A series of red curtains are drawn to reveal an intricate sequence of operations bringing to life a fragile universe of animals within animals.
At the centre of it all is the shape of the animal: a head, a body and four legs. The shape gets taken apart, enlarged, shrunk, rearranged into different versions and stretched to the edges of recognition.

Tim Spooner makes collections of puppets or performing sculptures that aim to expand an understanding of the physical world by revealing something of its inner life. Propelled by the magic of magnetism, vibrating compositions of living and inanimate matter, sound and electricity, his performing sculptures appear to exist in parallel universe to our own.

Tim is an artistic inventor, and uses basic physics and a surrealist imagination to create this carefully constructed and delicate world. Puppetry, magic and science join forces in The Assembly of Animals, a fascinating experience!

To truly understand, and be utterly mesmerised, you'll have to go along and find out what it's all about yourself. Do let us know what you discover...

"I am interested in ways we try to explain the world: metaphysics and creation myths. My own approach to the mystery is to experiment with how materials behave, to get a better understanding of them. From these I construct collections of objects which come together into ideas for possible universes” - Tim Spooner

"Tim Spooner is unclassifiable. Meticulous in the assembly and construction of his objects, disconcerting in the implementation of his performances, he belongs to those artists freed from any preconceived ideas and expectations. He appears to only follow the logical flow of the material as it transforms, he offers us a unique, strange and powerful universe." - Renaud Herbin, Director TJP, Strasbourg

"Absolutely fascinating, undeniably bonkers." - Flossie Waite, Children’s Theatre Review

"Tim is an artistic inventor, and uses basic physics and a surrealist imagination to create this carefully constructed world, the delicacy of which requires consistent marvelling (...)." - Theatre Bristol Writers

“The animation is fantastic (…) it is a wonderful experience – I left dreaming of electric sheep and buzzing with joy" - Dorothy Max Prior, Total Theatre

Tim Spooner works from London on correspondences between the physical world and the world of ideas. In his solo work, Tim combines his fascination with object manipulation and puppetry with drawing, painting and performance. Playing with scale and perspective, the resulting surreal shows reveal the particular and sometimes idiosyncratic properties of the objects he is handling.
Since 2010 he has been performing a series of metaphysical puppet shows where objects are manipulated and their particular properties are revealed. These shows are: The Grid of Life, The Magic Bird Garden Room, 24 Grotesque Manipulations and The Telescope. Often shows are performed alongside paintings.

Experiments from THE ASSEMBLY of ANIMALS from Tim Spooner on Vimeo.