The MAD Museum on Henley Street, Stratford-Upon-Avon, has officially reopened its doors to the public after an enforced closure of more than 4 months due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
If you’ve never been to the museum before, MAD (which stands for “Mechanical Art & Design”) is crammed full of weird and wonderful moving works of mechanical, interactive art. Think of the machines and gizmos used in Wallace and Gromit, Scrapheap Challenge, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and that’s MAD in a nutshell.
Being a highly interactive tourist attraction is far from ideal when a deadly virus is still in circulation and people are being told to touch as little as possible, however, the team at MAD have been working hard to make the museum as safe an environment as possible for its visitors, as well as staff.
This includes painstakingly replacing every single push button (used to activate the exhibits) with motion-activated equivalents so that visitors can now make everything come to life at the mere wave of a hand.
Sadly the current situation means that the museum’s immensely popular “MAD Marbles Wall”, where visitors can build and test their own giant marble runs, is temporarily off-limits, however, in the meantime, it does mean that extra space has opened up for a few brand new exhibits. This includes a wonderful, 5ft moving mechanical spider created by Staffordshire-based kinetic artist Steve Sherwin. Steve carefully studied how real spiders move before he designed and built it, in order to come up with the most realistic rendition possible. The finished piece is incredibly lifelike, so perhaps don’t get too close if you’re scared of spiders!
A giant, creepy mechanical spider isn’t all that’s new at MAD this summer. The museum now also houses a truly fantastic work of automata by another of MAD’s favorite artists, Wanda Sowry. Entitled “Self Portrait”, this incredible piece is unlike any automata you’ve ever seen in that it actually features the artist herself at work.
MAD is accepting pre-booked visitors only during August, with a limited number of tickets available per day.
For tickets visit www.themadmuseum.co.uk/tickets or call the museum on 01789 269 356.
MAD is open 7 days a week in August, from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm every day.