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Lanchester SketchClub online – August’s theme: Making the impossible – Possible

26th August 2020

The Lanchester Sketch Club continues online, but we hope to be able to resume in person soon. Last month’s Sketch Club was about East meets West and we look forward to sharing your artwork online on Twitter using the #CovSketchbook or tag us @lanchester_ia or via our Facebook page.

The SketchClub is a monthly space and time to be creative and sketch anything related to a different Lanchester inspired theme.  On the last Wednesday of every month the new theme will be revealed and this month we are Making the impossible – Possible!

The short video and pictures below will hopefully provide some inspiration and feel free to delve into the archives for some inspiration or download the worksheet.

Making the impossible – Possible

From inflatable structures that defy belief, to the first car to go up the steps of Crystal Palace – What ‘drove’ Lanchester was the challenge of making them possible.

LAN-1-6-16 12hp car going up the steps of the Crystal Palace, 1904

LAN-1-6-16 12hp car going up the steps of the Crystal Palace, 1904

LAN-6-146 - Patent for inflatable buildings, eg field hospital, 1917

LAN-6-146 – Patent for inflatable buildings, eg field hospital, 1917

For many people they don’t even get off the starting blocks, their brain tells them “it can’t be done”. But for great artists, designers, engineers, musicians, writers … creatives since we started to imagine and make things through necessity, the mother of invention, thank goodness their brains were wired differently. They knew no limitations, they broke through this barrier and changed the world we live in. Or at least imagined a world we don’t yet live in.

Just one glance at his design for the powered flight aircraft from 1897– with contra-rotating propellers and a cockpit, compared to the other designs for flying machines that had not really moved on since Leonardo Da Vinci, will demonstrate the true nature of his genius and just how ahead of his time he really was. He was a man who’s life was full of ‘firsts’ .

Lanchester's 1897 Flying machineLanchester's 1897 Flying machine

Lanchester’s 1897 Flying machine

Otto Lilienthal's glider from 1896

Otto Lilienthal’s glider from 1896

 

Other artists have created imagined worlds of impossible geometry. Maurits Escher (1898 – 1972) created some of the most popular and recognisable of these with his geometric optical illusions and architecture.

Maurits Escher (1898-1972) - Relativity, 1953

Maurits Escher (1898-1972) – Relativity, 1953

The Swedish artist Hilma af Klint deserves her place as making the impossible possible. She is described as a ‘mystic’ artist, and indeed her visionary artwork did come from ‘other-wordly’ inspiration. The first artist to develop non objective abstract paintings! No one else in the world had done this!

Hilma af Klint - Primordial Chaos, No. 16, from 1906

Hilma af Klint – Primordial Chaos, No. 16, from 1906

Ingenious Inventions

The Book of Ingenious Devices (Arabic: كتاب الحیل Kitab al-Hiyal, literally: “The Book of Tricks”) was a large illustrated work on mechanical devices, including automata, published in the year 850 by the three Iranian brothers known as the Banu Musa (Ahmad, Muhammad and Hasan bin Musa ibn Shakir) working at the House of Wisdom (Bayt al-Hikma) in Baghdad, Iraq, under the Abbasid Caliphate.

The Book of Ingenious Devices - Banu Musa

The Book of Ingenious Devices – Banu Musa

Their creative output included Valves (Plug valve, Float valve, Tap), Automatic controls, non-manual crank which approximates to that of a crankshaft – anticipating its first appearance in Europe by over five centuries.

Lanchester’s Firsts

From fundamentals of flight to four-wheel-drive, Lanchester roll-call of firsts is as varied as it is long.

Including many things you will find on today’s modern cars, like power-steering and turbo-charging:

LAN-6-77 Patent for power steering, 1903

LAN-6-77 Patent for power steering, 1903

LAN-6-73 - A turbine motor suitable for fitting to the exhaust of an internal combustion engine to use the residual pressure, from a patent for turbo charging, 1902

LAN-6-73 – A turbine motor suitable for fitting to the exhaust of an internal combustion engine to use the residual pressure, from a patent for turbo charging, 1902

So, taking inspiration from artists like Escher with his never ending staircases and impossible waterfalls, William Blake with his ‘visionary’ worlds or even science fiction art or DC comics with images of other worlds and future technology, why not create your own version of amazing ideas, look around the city for amazing architecture like The Elephant building and make the impossible possible…?

Coventry's iconic Elephant swimming pool

Coventry’s iconic Elephant swimming pool

We look forward to sharing your artwork online on Twitter using the #CovSketchbook or tag us @lanchester_ia or via our Facebook page.

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