2000 ticking clocks at Castle Drogo

Internationally renowned artist, Luke Jerram, has been installing over 2,000 clocks at the National Trust’s Castle Drogo to bring his travelling installation, ‘Harrison’s Garden’ to Devon, ready for visitors to see when this exhibition opens to the public on Friday 14 July.

The display of over 2,000 working clocks will be clustered to form patterns and shapes along the floors and surfaces. The working clocks are set to different times so that visitors will hear a musical delight of ticking, clicking and chiming throughout the day.

“For me, Harrison’s Garden is an imagined landscape; a garden of clocks. It is a glimpse of a surreal fictional world or perhaps an image from one of John Harrison’s dreams. Like a garden, the installation is a living and growing collection of different clock species.” Luke Jerram.

The installation includes a real mix of timepieces – from carriage clocks to grandfather clocks– most of which have been donated by the local communities the installation has visited. At Castle Drogo, 500 clocks will be included that have been given to the charity for the installation by visitors, staff, volunteers and the local community since April this year.

Jerram’s installation arrives just in time to be part of a brand new presentation Castle Drogo -Changing times and be installed in the grand space of the Library and Billiard room at Castle Drogo.

The installation is named ‘Harrison’s Garden’ as Jerram was inspired by one of England’s greatest inventors, 16th Century clockmaker John Harrison. With no formal education, Harrison spent his youth crafting clocks entirely from wood, later he became known for creating the marine chronometer, which made it possible to establish longitude at sea and saved the lives of many seafarers.

To celebrate Harrison’s story and the arrival of the artwork at Castle Drogo the local community have donated hundreds of clocks of all shapes and sizes to form part of the installation.

Louise Donovan, Creative Programme Manager, said, “This year at Castle Drogo the stories focus on how the Drewe family’s lives changed through time. This installation provides a unique visual spectacle, celebrating the work of John Harrison but also providing us with an opportunity to highlight our own collection of clocks and share some of the Drewe family stories.

One such story will be marked by a commemoration ceremony taking place on the centenary of the death of Adrian Drewe, eldest son of Julius and Frances Drewe, who was killed in action on the 12th July 1917 at Ypres.”

The contemporary installation will grow in size as it tours to other National Trust places across the country in 2018.

It will be on display at Castle Drogo from July-October 2017 and then is set to appear at Gunby Hall in Lincolnshire and Penrhyn Castle in Wales, with each place asking their local communities to donate 500 additional clocks to this growing installation.

Luke Jerram, a creator of sculptures, installations and live arts projects across the globe, is excited to see Harrison’s Garden expand in size and sound as it spreads into these historic spaces.

The touring installation is a Trust New Art project, an initiative from the National Trust to offer a different kind of day out and for visitors to see something new through contemporary art in a historic setting.

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