‘Bussola’ by Jennifer Townley is named after the Italian word for ‘compass’, as this sculpture is inspired on one of Leonardo da Vinci’s designs for such a drawing tool dating from 1514. The three dimensional machine is built up from a collection of identical instruments that work in the same way as the original compass.
The shape of these instruments has been somewhat elaborated but the working of the mechanism is equal to the original. They consist of four hinged parts, converting a vertical movement at the bottom hinge into a horizontal movement on the two upper legs.
Driven by a camshaft all the elements move, each with a small phase shift, in the same way. Creating a repetitive yet organic motion of the whole. The skeleton-like structure seems to behave like a natural organism that slowly moves forward through space.