The Story of "It's an Uphill Battle"
This simple automata was a result of many automata observers who suggest projects with sweeping forward movements without considering the return action, like a car driving down the road. I wanted to give the impression of forward movement with a painfully slow retraction to the originating point only to repeat. Such is the movement of the walker and Eleanor's feet in this project.
In her younger days Eleanor Walker was a renegade, a non-conformist, an activist and enthusiast. Although her strength is diminished and her profile is grander, she still exhibits an remarkable spirit. One follower of my work said of this piece, "It's an uphill slope, but I won't lose hope" - Hercules. One of Eleanor's favourite literary works is this poem, "Warning" by Jenny Joseph. For this reason Eleanor still adores purple, sporting a purple housecoat on her little excursion. Her perm is an iconic symbol of octogenarians.
Eleanor has a companion to dwell with her in perpetuity. His name is Edgar. He is a good choice since he is not the kind of guy to run off and leave her behind. Eleanor thinks he is quite dashing although many of us might consider him sluggish or maybe even a slime ball. Take my word for it he really is a nice guy. Edgar cruises below in the mechanism of the automata. I'm sure they will be great company for each other.
In the end I had some challenges getting Eleanor to move the way I had originally envisioned and had to do some redesign along the way. I underestimated the amount of weight she added to the walker in my original design. Eleanor and I had a chat and worked things out until we were both satisfied. The result is a very peaceful, contemplative piece. Ya gotta love Eleanor!
The "It's an Uphill Battle" Video
The "Eleanor goes for a MRI" Video
I thought that a little vignette of Eleanor attending an appointment at the hospital might bring her situation to life, so I did a little "green screen" photography and superimposed her over scenes from a hospital. It does add a little emotion to the piece when you see her struggle in a "human" backdrop. One day many of us may ourselves in Eleanor's situation. Hope you like it.
The "It's an Uphill Battle" Photo Gallery
A collection a few photos of the project from the construction to completion.