An array of cute robots have filled an Ealing gallery as Matt Dixon’s unique style of illustration comes to Pitzhanger Manor. The robots manage to look both cute and yet clearly weatherworn and at times somewhat mournful, and if they look familiar, a less weatherworn version is part of a national phone network’s branding.

The robots are in essence though, just people in human poses and reflect people’s concerns and desires, and at times sadness. Just in robot form.

The exhibition isn’t just a display of paintings and drawings though, as they’ve turned the whole gallery into a fantasy world, with grass on the floor, planting, and bean bags to lounge in.

Several robots have also transitioned from paintings on walls to models in stage sets.

It’s a rather family friendly layout, with the gallery design and also a couple of blackboards for children to add their own robot drawings.

There are also some augmented reality paintings, and although the sign says you need the Facebook app installed, which I don’t have, they worked with Instagram installed on my Android phone – which considering the robot topic of the exhibition seemed apt. The AR effect is best on one painting which transforms into a water scene, but the other two were more problematic to get to work.

Overall, it’s a nice, and probably more family-oriented exhibition, although in that case, maybe putting the paintings a bit closer to the ground would have been a nice idea.

For this taller adult, the paintings are the sort of thing he would have on a wall somewhere, maybe as a robotic slap in the face to the ghastly motivational posters that managers sometimes put up in offices thinking it makes them seem inspired.

The exhibition, ‘A Sense of Wonder’: The Curious Robot World of Matt Dixon is at Pitzhanger Manor until 12th February 2023.

Full price: £7.70 | Concessions: £4.95 | Art Pass: £3.50

There is also free entry for Ealing residents with proof of address and job seekers with id all day on Wednesdays and Sunday mornings.

They recommend booking tickets in advance from here, although you can pay on the day if there’s space.

Also, look for the door sign to the staff area, it’s been changed to match the rest of the exhibition, which is the sort of small but fun touches that I wish more exhibitions played with.

There is also an auction to buy the paintings, with details here.


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