Bucephalus displayed in artist Mike Collings’ Lesmurdie home art studio. Picture: Guanhao Cheng

Bringing Bucephalus to life in Lesmurdie

Lesmurdie artist Michael Collings used his technical background to marry art and science with this mechanical creation christened Bucephalus.
May 9, 2024
Guanhao Cheng

LESMURDIE artist and retired mining engineer Michael Collings exhibited his mechanical horse Bucephalus at a Lesmurdie Arts and Crafts Group (LAC) exhibition held on the weekend.

Mr Collings said Bucephalus was a hit with the crowd, drawing much praise at the event, which gave him a sigh of relief.

“I was worried a piece might fall off during a demonstration, and I’d have to tell them, ‘That wasn’t meant to happen’. But that didn’t happen,” he said.

“They (LAC) popped me in the foyer, and I nabbed people as they came through.

“It did get a lot of interest and I think I got a whole list of their comments about how it was, ‘amazing and wonderful’.

“I do this not for publicity, but it is nice to receive recognition for the work and passion that’s gone into it.”

The project took five years to bring to its current stage, with much research, trial and error, and deliberation to inform its creation.

Mr Collings’ home office contained folders and files with anatomical references, hand-drawn maps of leg motions to plan out Bucephalus’ movement, and his previous mechanical art pieces, which each took about a year to build.

He said Bucephalus was special because he  had not had reference material to guide him except the concept picture that inspired the work, so everything had to be designed from scratch.

“I saw this concept art of an armoured horse, and I said, ‘I want to build that with moving legs’,” he said.

“The previous projects had YouTube videos to give more guidance and plans existed to work off.

“There were no plans for the horse, all I had was the picture.”

Mr Collings said he hoped to exhibit Bucephalus more in the future and planned to display it in the Canning Show in November.

“I don’t think someone would want it for their living room,” he said.

“If someone were to take him off my hands, my hope is they’ll put him in an exhibition next to similar works.

“Hope you enjoy watching the model as much as I did in making it.”

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