Machine 1

Beauty in Function and Form

“Beauty in Function and Form” is a celebration of the ‘enginuity’ of the industrial revolution brought about by a synergistic explosion of activity in engineering, thermodynamics, metallurgy, medicine and mining (to name but a few) at the end of the eighteenth century. Due to the popularity of this theme the scope has now been extended to include anything mechanical or electrical developed since then whose function (and therefore beauty) can be appreciated with the naked eye.

The true legacy of these developments is so embedded in modern culture that we take them for granted and rarely give them a second thought; we are so focussed on current technologies we forget that, like Newton, they stand “on the shoulders of giants”.

As with living things, function and form are the essence of beauty. Here we explore icons of function and form, starting from the now arthritic shoulders – relics of the revolution left to rust for generations (or meticulously restored or reconstructed for our edification) – and give them a new lease of life, a chance to shine once more and show their inner beauty, being fabulous again like some forgotten drag queen.