Stop all the clocks

No man has the power to tell just where the hands will stop, at late or early hour.

“No man has the power to tell just where the hands will stop, at late or early hour.”

A mix of quotes in this post: the title is from a W H Auden poem, the photo caption is from “The Clock of Life” by Robert H Smith. This particular stopped clock is on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour: convict prison; industrial school and reformatory for girls; ship building site; dockyard; and now urban campground and cultural events venue. From 1857 to 1991, Cockatoo Island was Australia’s primary shipbuilding and repair facility. I find something quite poignant in this clock, its frozen hands hinting at a time when the cavernous building in which it hangs bustled with noise and work.

December Squares #timesquare

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Random Fridays: Could I ever have belonged to the heavens?

Icarus Container, Yukinori Yanagi

Icarus Container by Yukinori Yanagi

This photo shows part of an art work at this year’s Biennale on Cockatoo Island. Viewers walked through darkened shipping containers with mirrors on which were etched extracts of Icarus from Sun and Steel by Yukio Mishima. (While Mishima’s version is not that of the ancient myth, in which Icarus flew so close to the sun that the wax holding his feathered wings together melted and he fell to earth, it nonetheless evokes that story.)

The viewer’s perception changed as they walked through the containers, turning corners and looking back; the experience was very affecting.


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Retreat from Investment, Camille Henrot
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Random Fridays: Sculpture

'Retreat From Investment' by Camille Henrot

‘Retreat From Investment’ by Camille Henrot

I saw this sculpture at the Biennale exhibit at Cockatoo Island in April. Its smooth bronze shape contrasted with the rough cement walls and metal beams of the room, and the lighting drew your eye to the sculpture. I don’t understand the title (‘Retreat From Investment’), but that’s not necessarily an obstacle to enjoyment.


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Echoes of Industry

Convict prison, industrial school for girls, ship building site, dockyard – and now urban campground and cultural events venue. Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour combines its past and its present in one dramatic setting.

Light at the end of the tunnel.

Are they walking towards the past, or the future?

No access.

No access.

Like the moai of Easter Island, these Beam Benders stare out to distant horizons.

Like the moai of Easter Island, these Beam Benders stare out to distant horizons.

Rusted cranes thrust their skeletal forms towards the sky.

Rusted cranes thrust their skeletal forms
towards the sky.

What went on behind this peeling facade?

What went on behind this peeling facade?

The corrugated metal wall of a workshop.

The corrugated metal wall of a workshop.

The interior of a workshop.

The interior of a workshop.

A stopped clock is fitting for a site frozen in time.

A stopped clock is fitting for a site frozen in time.

The turbine shop.

The turbine shop, like a cathedral for worshipping the god of industry.

Waiting for an audience.

Waiting for an audience.

Through a broken board over a window.

Peering through a broken board over a window.

Sunlight striping wooden floorboards.

Sunlight striping wooden floorboards.

Windows to the past.

Windows to the past.

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