The Incredible Animated Fantasy Art
of Lawrence Northey

(This exhibition is co-sponsored by Brian Hayes' website
Robots and Space Toys)

28 by 36 inches
Lawrence Northey's fantasy art is remarkable to behold. Meticulously fabricated of metal, fiberglass and other materials, his intricate figures often move, make music, sing, speak, and even zap. And when they don't move or sing, Northey's art works still perform with a fluid, visual virtuosity that astonishes and piques the imagination. This spectacular art is whiz-bang, and Northey has the awards to prove it. He is the winner of two Gold Awards for Dimensional Art given by Spectrum: The Best In Contemporary Fantastic Art (an annual competition for fantasy aftists in all mediums and discipines published by Underwood Books), and his work has been featured in many magazines and designer sourcebooks.

Northey only acquired formal art training after being trained in sheet metal and auto mechanics for three years. "I was always creating stuff as a kid," he says, "but I was sixteen when I went to my first art gallery. I suppose I had a kind of epiphany at that moment, to discover there were other people like me and that there was a name for the sorts of things I had been doing." Shortly after that, Northey changed his major to art and soon thereafter, in 1971, had his work selected to be shown in an exhibition at the National Gallery in Ottawa.
27 inches tall

After graduating from art school, Northey got a job in a factory and worked on his art at night. Then, in 1984, he moved to Richmond, British Columbia, and established an animated display business. Northey's animated figures were so remarkable they soon captured attention as much for themselves as for the items they advertised. It wasn't long before Northey's pieces were selling as objects in themselves, and in 1993 Northey sold two of his coin operated displays to actress Kirstie Alley which further broadcast his talent. After this point, the artist devoted even more time to his work and it grew more complicated and technically sophisticated, resulting in the creation of works like "Heavy K and the Turtlenecks," a fully automated rock and roll band made up of remarkable fantasy creatures.

Another of Northeys' animated art works includes "Chyx an' Method," a hilarious figure study of a couple decked out in bizzare fashionable regalia, which amply demonstrates the artist's blunt humor. "Spaceman Troy," a fanciful robotic figure with a flamboyant red cape brandishes a dangerous looking raygun that lights up and makes ray gun sounds.

One of the more ambitious of the artists works is "The Queen's Entourage," a grouping of robot figures who literally command the viewer to "drop your weapon!" while pointing dangerous looking rayguns in their direction. This last work, as well as others that Northey is currently at work on, represent characters in Wired City, a series of books, illustrated with Northey's art work, which the artist is writing. Indeed, Northey considers some of his recent sculpture to be 3 dimensional illustrations which help him to visualize the world he is creating. In his recent, larger works, Northey generally works with patrons who commission his ideas for their collection. Northey maintains the rights to all images of these works for Wired City.


Yet Northey also makes many pieces which are not so elaborate, or even animated. And, indeed, some of these are among his most interesting. Made of fiberglass and metal, his "Rocket Lamp" turns a simple lighting device into a humorous, and powerfully sculpted, form. "Balancing Robot," made in 1996, is a study in elemental form, the horizontal balancing bar held by the robot elegantly stabilizing the tilted figure of the robot. "Razor" and "Courier," two of Northey's smaller figures, demonstrate the visual interest the artist is able to create in seemingly simple figures.
21 inches tall

Despite the contemporary nature and look of his art, the inspiration for Northey's works comes from the past. "I'm inspired by the design of objects that were created in most instances sixty to seventy years ago, " he says. "In a lot of ways they coincide with my fascination for science fiction from the same era. There exists a certain naivete and optimism, inherent in everything from this time period that I really enjoy."

Lawrence Northey's art is widely collected in both the United States and Canada. Many of his best known pieces are displayed on his website where one can also see illustrations from Wired City. If you have any questions about Northey or his award winning art, drop him an email.

Northey's New Ray Gun Sculpture

Northey is currently involved in the early stages of a number of new projects, including the design and manufacture of a series of RAY GUN SCULPTURES! These ray guns, which will light up and make sounds, promise to be as remarkable as the rest of Northey's art, and are bound to cause quite a stir in the art world and among ray gun collectors. To learn more about Northey's ray gun project, and to find out how to purchase his guns, stay tuned to the Toy Ray Gun Website.