Time-based Sculpture, rusted steel, sand and time

A hollow cube of rusted sheet steel is filled with sand and suspended while the sand falls through an aperture. The size is arrived at by the weight of sand, the weight corresponds to a human body.  The cube is filled with sand that trickles from a small aperture onto the ground.  Sand is a product of the weathering processes of landmass breaking down into loose grains of worn out and disintegrated rocks. Sand, in the form of an hourglass, has been used to measure the passage of time since the ancients. A two chambered glass vessel that allows sand to run through a narrowed neck from one chamber to the other. It is in a sense infinite, it can be used indefinitely and represents the present as being a point in time between the visible past and the visible future. In Free Fall, the grains of sand fall from a rusting container that hides its contents. The past is visible, the present only as it falls and the future is unknown. The sand can only fall until it stops. Finite resources, environmental crisis, extinctions, industrial decline, hidden agendas, short termism and tipping points are all part of the dialogue while advances in science require us to question the very notion of time.

This piece was first shown in September 2015. 2,000 visitors came to the Process show over 5 days during which time the pristine pile of sand that formed on the floor became a magnet for human intervention. Regardless of human interactions the sand kept flowing and slowly covered the marks left by inquisitive hands until it was as if they had never been.

Images from the Flameworks Process Show, 5 Southside, Barbican, Plymouth, September 2015