Somerset House 5: Time

I am still trying to understand why this exhibit had such a profound effect on me.

The Title is Time is Subjective and you can read more about it here.


70 hour glasses filled with sand


all gleaming in a dark space underground


UAE exhibit LDB 2018

there was something beautiful about the colour of the sand against the black and the sparkle of the glassesIMG_1899

and then they began to move


one row after the other

sands of time, LDB2018

The sands of time.

I felt so deeply connected to the idea and concept of rows of hour glasses, every so often turning slowly and another cycle would start, another event causing time to pass in a different way, at a different rate, with periods of stillness in between. The soft twinkle of the sand falling through and landing on the grains beneath …  and so many all together, all connected.

I am still not sure where that gets to me or why it does, but it does.


Thank you so much to all of you who have enjoyed this brief 5 part tour of the London Design Biennale. It has truly enriched my experience of the event to have you all along with me as I remember the experience.

I love going to exhibitons on my own so that I can experience them from my own perspective in silence; and then to be able to go round the exhibits again on a virtual tour with you, my blogging friends, is something very special, seeing things again with new eyes, the eyes of a collective creative group ………… so good!

Can you imagine us all going round together singly or in pairs and then meeting up and chatting about the exhibits whilst sitting in the sunshine in the piazza with a cappucino or a green tea and cake!

And then going back for another look all together ….

If you would like to go back in and wander around some more exhibits you can see them all here

Farewell London Design Biennale ……..  looking forward to the next one!


21 responses to “Somerset House 5: Time

  1. I have so enjoyed reading this series of posts, Sandra, and I can see why you were moved by this one. When I saw the first picture I thought “surely they must move?” so I was thrilled that you included a clip to show that they did. Thanks for sharing your visit – when I visit Elder Daughter, if I am travelling via London, I will sometimes take in an exhibition that I have heard about

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is so good to know you have enjoyed this virtual visit Cathy. I had never been to Somerset House before but now I see they have some amazing exhibitions coming up I will definitely go again – and it is in walking distance from Waterloo Station, which is a huge bonus for me.


      • I was really surprised at the first photo you showed, really extensive buildings with the huge open square in the middle, which is somehow not at all what I might have imagined SH to be like!


        • It surprised me too. The building it quite disorientating when you are inside it – quite small rooms, and lots of levels. One day I’ll take time to read about the history of the building. They use the piazza for ice-skating around Christmas.


  2. Your reaction to this exhibit is so compelling, Sandra, and the resulting comments are profound. A perfect subject for the rainy day that today is going to be. I have just sat here thinking about time as I watch the sky struggle to lighten as the sun rises behind a heavy bank of clouds. While they slow the effect of the sun, that slowness allows for the nuances of the change to be more easily noted. Your post, got us all thinking. This has been a wonderful series, thank you for sharing with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It has been so wonderful for us all to share our responses to the exhibiits. Your comment warms my heart. So many gently poetic musings – we are all connected – that is the cosy reassuring feeling I have and it stays with me from these discussions across continents. ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fantastic comments!! :o)
    I felt confused until I read the narration. I too thought “a young Country”, lots of new, lots of transition. That put me off a bit. I hate visiting neighborhoods I grew up in, seeing new buildings where my favorite old Library was, or my Grandma’s corner store grocery gone.

    But I love time passing and I love that I’m off to a wonderful adventure once my Soul leaves this body, in the near future. And I too think this “time” given, is the most fun of my life!! So looking at the hour glasses from that perspective made me want to watch/enjoy them going around longer! LOL!!
    Oh the “conflict” of understanding time! :o)

    This was totally the coolest series of posts ever! LOL!! (“far out” as we used to say when truly amazed- right!!)
    again- Much appreciated!! Thank You!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I first started reading this post and saw the still photos, I wondered whether the hourglasses were stationary; I thought to myself, “Surely not!” Then of course I came to your video! I really like the concept of this display — and wouldn’t it be something if we bloggers got together! (I think the universe would explode…) Of all your posts, I think the wall of condensation was my favourite; watching how everyone made their mark must have been fascinating. Thank you for a wonderful series.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I am SO glad you have enjoyed these last few posts with me. And I love that on some dimension we are all there together, keeping the Universe intact! … for now!!
      Yes, I think the wall of condensation was my favourite and probably because of the bench, it was the one I spent most time with.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, my word! This post gave me goosebumps, especially when I watched the hour glasses turn. I am fascinated by time, and in the YA Great Library Series I’m writing, Time is actually a force that helps govern the universe. Anyway…I would so much love to go to an exhibit with you. A perfect afternoon is looking and chatting and looking some more. Then of course tea. And cake. Or whatever. (Chocolate isn’t bad either.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The sense of time running out is what I thought when I saw your picture and read that there 70 of them- our three score years and ten.

    Time has always struck me as being a very manmade construct. We can’t fit a year into a year without adjustments every four years except in a millennium year. It doesn’t exist.

    I wonder if after a few weeks you will figure out what moved you so much about this exhibit.

    Like you I prefer to go round exhibitions, museums at my own pace. We must bear that one in mind!

    Thank you for taking us with you on this trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a pleasure it has been having you all along with me. Reading everyone’s comments is so helpful to get a handle on the emotions this exhibit stirred in me. I think I might have needed to sit there for longer than I gave myself in order to really access what was going on for me. I might do that in retrospect when things calm down a bit here and see what happens.
      So looking forward to November! 😉


  7. I have always been fascinated by time and our experience of it. Time is definitely a subjective experience. People say that time speeds up as you get older but since I’ve been retired I find that time has slowed down. And a week doesn’t always pass at the same speed. Generally on a Monday the week spreads out in a slow relaxed manner then Tuesday it speeds up and I know that Tuesday evening and Wednesday evening are spoken for and even Thursday is a bit of a fixed point most weeks as I have to remember to phone my daughter. But Thursday is also when time spreads out again and today when many problems have been sorted time is forever, at least for a while, even though I will soon go out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a wonderful ebb and flow to the way you describe how time moves through your week. I too am enjoying this period of my life when time expands to accommodate art, craft, wonderful exhibitions and communicating with so many wonderfully creative minds from all over the world – and those who just a train journey away!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. As I looked at the installation and watched the all too brief video I wondered if the installation had been designed by someone still quite young. And then I followed the link and see it is a whole young country 🙂 I think I wondered that because the setup is quite modern and shiny….. I’m not sure. Anyhow, it certainly fits the modern and shiny place it represents.

    Interestingly, I’ve been thinking a lot about time recently. As my number of years goes up, there grows within me a sort of timelessness that defies the outer aging process and I marvel at it. I think time is a constraint that doesn’t necessarily belong to the human soul. In many ways I feel younger now than I did when I was young. I’m not so driven. Not so serious. Less inclined to care what anyone thin ks of me and more inclined to say what I think when I think it 😀 There is also this phenomenon of time passing quickly – and yet I have moments of timelessness in every day when I am involved in my work or just admiring a tree – or simply following my breath. . .

    I become aware that I can look back a much longer way than I can look ahead and that makes every day become a precious commodity. I have settled into a quiet gratefulness of all that has been so that I could be here. I quite like here. Time has done that. and I often feel that it enfolds me and mixes itself about in me so that I am all things at once and also none of these things – which probably makes no sense to anybody but me 😀

    I have a feeling that had I been there, this exhibit may have quite captured me and led to long musings like the preceding on the subject. We may have had to have many cups of tea and many trips back to re-immerse ourselves in the running of the sands of time………. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Poetry Pauline.
      What you say about your personal experience of time has put into words, so beautifully, that which I have could not find the words to describe – feeling younger as I get older and freer of inhibitions and the driven need to achieve. And I too celebrate those daily moments of timelessness, and miss them when life gets busy with things that must be done at a certain time.
      What you say makes such perfect sense to me and I’m so grateful to you for setting out these feelings in such a way that gives my wafty feelings a description they seem to have been looking for!
      Sorry about the brevity of the video – I’m always thoughtful of battery life when out for the whole day and after that sequence of movements it took quite a while of stillness for the sand to trickle through before they turned in sequence again.

      I have read your comment several times over and will no doubt be quoting you to friends. ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

I love your comments, keep'em coming :-)

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