Margate mechanical toymaker Clare Pattinson presents Bots Like Us

Bot Like Us

Imagine life with robots that could clean your home, give you a massage or even give birth for you.

That is what mechanical toymaker Clare Pattinson, from Margate, has done for her new collection of automata for a solo show this month.

Multi-talented Clare, who is also an  illustrator, animator, ceramicist, plumber, harmonica player, social worker and partner at the quirky Penny Rope ‘jail’ hotel, spent nine weeks creating the pieces for Bots Like Us.

The exhibition features robot creations crafted with old spindles from the staircase of the Magical Margate Town House in Dalby Square. And Clare’s old roof timbers. These will be on display at The Booth Creative Space, Lower Ground, 12 Caroline Square, Margate.

Clare said: “The idea of making robots was inspired by several things, including listening to the new sci-fi novel by Ian McEwan on Radio 4. Robots and Artificial Intelligence have always fascinated me.

“We live with robots now – computers, gadgets, washing machines -but maybe within a generation or two, we will be living with personal robots like Sophia the humanoid robot.

“I ran a small survey to understand what people would require from their personal robot. The answers were intriguing. Domestic chores rated as the highest in demand. Other interesting answers included: “To make me laugh”. “Cuddles”. “To play bingo with”. “To play cribbage with me and let me win”. “Being patient with door to door salespeople”. “Massage”. “To strip (naked) and make the beds”. “Reading me bedtime stories” and “Cleaning the oven”.

“The lovely Anna from Magical Margate Town House gave me the old spindles from the staircase of her magnificent house in Dalby Square. The spindles formed the bodies of the robots.

“My tired old roof timbers were transformed into the carcasses. Nothing was wasted. I’ve tried to cover the significant events in the life of a human being and portray them through automata.

“What if our Bots could assist us through these difficult moments? Study Bot, Domestic Bot, Clerical Bot, Pleasure Bot, Serving Bot, Birthing Bot, Death Bot If robots could give birth for us, or even take our (painful) deaths for us – would that be revolutionary or just plain weird?”

Bot Like Us will be exhibited from  September 20-29.