born Australia, 1968
Sliding pulley 1997
flameworked borosilicate glass, sterling silver
Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Funaki, Melbourne
A breakthrough [for Tilden] was the purchase in Melbourne in 1996 of the 1868 classic Five Hundred and Seven Mechanical Movements by Henry Brown, which had recently been republished. It codifies and illustrates a wealth of pulleys, wheels, cogs, levers, every kind of device that the kinetic sculptor might need, nicely indexed: Tilden’s Sliding Pulley, 1997, and Pulley, 1998, are based directly on several of Brown’s versions of basic industrial pulleys—lightweight, miniature approximations of machines designed to lift heavy weights, which here, ironically, support only their own structures.