Sunday, 14 September 2008

Welsh Klein Bottles, Refuge and Expansion

This is the first of two related posts, and concerns a trip to a trio of Welsh sims: Welsh Lakes, Welsh Springs and Welsh Cove. Most seasoned travellers have probably already been through here - but it was my first visit.

My first port of call was Welsh Lakes, home to a huge floating sculpture consisting of a series of interconnected Klein bottles - a bizarre mathematical oddity that seemingly points up its own fundament. The sculpture is the work of Miki Gymnast, and appears to be floating over recently ploughed farmland. The skyline is one of those seemingly endless prairie scenes beloved of AM Radio: a few farmhouses, dwarfed by a towering, sickly green sky. The bottles are cleverly constructed, but I have to confess, left me a bit cold as they felt more an exercise in mathematics than design. I know this is unfair - but that's what I took from the construction.

A floating pink block, reminding me of an eraser from childhood, provides a link to the 2 other Welsh sims, which prove to be The Refuge and Expansion - a classic tour-de-force by the aforementioned AM Radio. Again, we have the rather bleak greeenish sky and distant farmhouses, but this time we have a cluster of Mr Radio's builds to entertain us. The point of arrival is a country crossroads, somewhere in the boondocks, way beyond the Back of Beyond. There's an old Texaco gas station (I believe that is the term they use over there) with a hotrod sat outside it. Is the owner now inside, paying his bill? No - the place is deserted. Why not sit a while, and wait to see who turns up?

In fields opposite the gas station you will find a rusting locomotive (sound familiar? I did say it had a cluster of AM's builds). Back along the road aways you will find a neat and proper little house. Go in, why don't you... You will find Mr Radio's trademark hat. Where can he be? And why are there so many chairs piled randomly by the window? Maybe there's a clue upstairs.

Hmmmm... the plot thickens. There's an amateur science laboratory - a microscope, a telescope and a few specimens. But it's hard to reach because of the veritable mountain of chairs and books piled throughout the room! I tbrought to my mind the scene in The Prestige, when the magician wanders around the back of Tesla's laboratory and finds a mound of hats and cats (watch the movie to find out why).

And that's about it... as with all AM Radio builds you marvel at the detail, and at the ambiance he creates. Beautifully constructed items, set in a lonely, alienating landscape.

I have a stack of pictures - please flick thru them - and go and view them fullsize at Flickr:

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