Found objects, humour and movement are the basic ingredients for Nik Ramage’s kinetic sculptures. Chair legs are replaced by springs and complex mechanisms designed to wobble a plate of jelly, wave a flag or endlessly rock a spirit level. As the artist summarises, “I make useless mechanical machines.”
With a professional background in graphic design, Nik Ramage describes himself as a lifelong tinkerer and is self-taught in machine mechanics and soldering. He sources objects for his sculptures from junk stores and street sales, keeping new parts to a minimum. In the electronic age, Ramage opts for transparent, simple mechanisms where the viewer can observe how each part functions, “not a digital box that seems to work by magic.”
Utility and futility are key. Ramage’s creations are machines with an existential crisis: they serve no clear purpose, inviting reflection on life’s absurdities. On a formal level, another central theme is balance and instability, with these sculptures often embracing fragility or movement.
Nik Ramage has exhibited in London, Maastricht and Budapest, including at the group show
What Marcel Duchamp Taught Meheld at the Fine Art Society, London, in 2014. He has been a visiting lecturer at Middlesex University and Central St. Martins, and is an Academician at the RWA (Royal West of England Academy of Art) in Bristol, UK.