Classic clock — History and ethos of the event
Burning the Clocks was created by Same Sky in 1994 as a way for the whole community to enjoy the festive season, regardless of faith or creed. Each year a new theme, related to the concept of time, is incorporated into the event to bring new and exciting elements, but the clock is always represented inshapes and images found in all kinds of lanterns.
The transition from the shortest day towards longer hours of light is central to Burning the Clocks, and timepieces feature on all kinds of lanterns every year, hidden in creatures, people and abstract sculptures. But there’s always a classic clock to be found somewhere on the parade. For this lantern I wanted to find my inspiration in a real, antique and traditionally shaped clock, with a sense of the craftsmanship, endeavour and investment that it takes to make any quality timepiece. My hosts, are planning a sumptuous Christmas window with a Caravaggio style ‘banquet of art’, reminiscent of a still life master painting. So the clock needed gravitas….
I began looking at clocks from across Europe over the last 200 years and eventually discovered a large Victorian marble mantle clock… it’s pre 1890, and while I can’t find out where it’s originally from, there’s no doubt that it is reminiscent of the architecture of Brighton Pavilion! So that felt like serendipity. The challenge has been to adapt a mantel clock into something that feels like it should be hanging, so based on a variety of Dutch pendulum clocks, I’ve extended the base so it frames the shop display beneath. I love the domes, the columns and the ornate detail, surrounding what is by modern standards a very small clock face. It make time feel important and highly valued.
And the time on my clock? It will be eternally just before midnight of course… in permanent anticipation on the solstice.
Bec became part of the Same Sky team in 2001.