Alfons Schilling, studio, 1962 In the early 1960´s, Alfons Schilling´s work, influenced by american "action painting", slowly evolved into Rotationsbilder (spin paintings); paintings produced on large vertical discs, turning at speeds up to 3 times a second: "I wanted not only that the painter moves, but also the painting".
Illustration - Alfons Schilling at work, 1962, photograph courtesy of Alfons Schilling.
See http://alfonsschilling.com
Construction of spin painting machine Finished machine Spin - Warehouse Spin - Warehouse Spin - Warehouse
In November 1997 while Artist In Residence on the Raffles housing estate in Carlisle, Alan Dunn initiated a Spin Painting project in an old Willowholme warehouse. Working with a Youth Motor Project, who built a basic spin machine from old bike parts, and 13 young people, a series of paintings were produced in the event which was supported by Tullie House and The Andromeda Youth Project.
Spin - Warehouse Spin - Warehouse News & Star, 22/11/1997 RAGS Magazine, Feb. 1998 News & Star, 4/12/1997
For two cold damp evenings in that warehouse the young people, watched by an entranced local media gathering, made instant and intuitive creative decisions - number of colours, colour balance, liquidity of paint, speed of rotation and 'when is it finished?'

While the media concentrated on the 'interactive fun' of the event, it had originally began with someone reading that a 'spin painting' had sold for around £40,000. After the warehouse event, a deal was made with a local catalogue company to take ownership of and display six of the finished pieces in an alleyway alongside their city centre store.

Spin - Gallery: Woods, Atkinson, Dunn, Chapple Spin - Gallery Spin - Gallery Spin - Gallery Spin - Gallery
Two years later in 1999, Tullie House and Encompass/Engage approached the artist to develop a Gallery project for some of the same young people, around the exhibition 'Fun de Siecle'. In the show was Damien Hirst's Spin Painting Beautiful, Babies, Optical, Parsons Nose, Trembling Camera, Weird Shutter Release, Artistic Eye, Exploding Pig, Chainsaw, Sex Painting (With Two Small Pink Splashes).

With two other Carlisle artists - Dave Chapple and Sharon Woods - and a local DJ - Dan Atkinson - the 'Doctors of Spin' event evolved. Spinning onto records and record sleeves. Spinning while wearing 3D glasses. Spinning while wearing surgical gowns. Spinning in line with the soundtrack. Constructing objects from the spin paintings (Pop-A-Domes). Spinning tales to visitors from The Netherlands and America.

Full report on event here.

Soundtrack Spinning on Roussos Soundtrack Coverage in National Museums Journal and Encompass/Engage publications Soundtrack
From a cold damp warehouse, the young people (by now 70) and artists had moved into a heated white cube gallery space. They were spinning and producing work literally in the same environment as a more famous artist who had sold paintings based on a similar technique for large sums. Publicity and critical reponses increased - national educational and institutional journals. Yet at the core was this apparantly random process.
Spin - Gallery Spin - Gallery
"Doctors of Spin" is dedicated to Terry Bennett.       Thanks to AS.