Gentleman Jim

Mechanical SculptureLife Sized Automata

214 x 100 x 100 cms


An electronic waxwork of the artist as a laughing, drunken sailor.

The odd sailor is an itinerant vagrant of the high seas trapped like a butterfly in a glass case. Hollow laughter repeating in circular patterns of jerky movement. The seaside freak as free spirit forever doomed to play out the instructions of the operator like a giant puppet. Jolly Jack tar, (union jack) colonialism.

“As it hit the water the fire hissed and the sinking pipe became no more than bubbles. Jim remembered old Sampan, his teeth blackened with betel, who had given him the pipe on the other side of the globe all those years ago; how he’d predicted the fate of that infernal device, saying it would betray him and meet a watery grave. Recalling the image of Sampan only moments later himself accidentally falling off the boat brought
Jim to his feet and pointing into the water, the quizzical look on his face changed, his head rolled and from the base of his stomach came a thunderous laugh.” Gavin Turk