“Not only is the universe stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think”
Over the past century cosmologists and physicists have made remarkable strides in increasing our knowledge regarding the nature of the universe. Whilst much remains beyond our comprehension ours is the first generation that can actually start to grasp the vastness of space and time and how modest the part played by mankind is on this canvas.
Meanwhile, paradoxically in most countries of the world mankind’s outlook into the future is much shorter than ever before. It seems we are often barely able to look much further than the next few years thus endangering future generations’ ability to remain as a viable species on this planet. By way of exploring this notion further, The Bay Trust, an environmental and educational charity, is seeking to commission and implement ‘Kronos’, a simple yet ambitious project to provide a place where individuals can experience walking through deep time, whilst also grasping the distances of deep space.
The project encompasses a significant sculptural piece that evokes mankind’s reaching out into deep time and space, providing a start and end for an interactive pathway in a natural setting for people of all ages to walk: a walk through time from the Big Bang to now or, reversing the direction of the walk, a walk through space from our location here on earth out to the farthest reaches of the known universe.
The sculptural piece is in itself an ambitious body of work, made up of twenty four carefully selected pieces of Cornish Granite, and aims to demonstrate pivotal moments in time on planet earth from the “Big-Bang” until today. A chronology, looking back over 4.5 billion years is to be represented by standing stones, arranged in a spiral, each piece is carved and signed to identify an individual evolutionary phase. The pathway, which is to be constructed by a team of youth from the local area, will weave its way around much of the circumference with markers along the way referencing key periods in the development of the Universe; the earth and finally mankind’s arrival.
Artist & Works
Twenty-four stones represent the hours of the day and the spiral formation is in reference to the double helix which only appeared some one billion years ago when life developed from single cell organisms into multi cellular creatures – our early ancestors, and without this probably random event we would not be here now. These were moments in time sparked by unknown catalysts, the consequences of which caused cosmic matter to evolve into a complex ecosystem. It took 2.5 billion years for life to evolve into simple microscopic organisms and less than half that time to develop completely into all we recognise today.
Jeremy Nelson’s sculptures over the past decade have explored ideas based on organic forms with particular reference to single cell creatures and themes dealing with evolutionary process. This has led him to develop this present project which he has been working on over the last 18 months in research and development and carved pieces. The form of the sculpture has moved from a small original idea to an expanded spiral which embraces references to life on earth and refers back to numerous standing stone structures such as Stonehenge or the Hurlers.
The Pines Garden blends beauty, tranquility with sustainability. Amongst the garden’s many existing features is a grass labyrinth. This provides a subtle counterbalance to Kronos as labyrinths can be found dating back over 3000 years. Their underlying purpose to help guide individuals to a quiet, meditative state and an experience of ‘Kyros’ (eternal time). Adjacent to Kronos’ destination within the garden is the Pines Calyx, the UK’s most sustainable conference venue, from where presentations on themes linked to Kronos are planned to be provided to visiting groups, in particular school groups. These will be led by the Trust’s environmental educational team.
We look forward to welcoming you to visit and experience this new installation next year. Our immediate work is to seek out further sponsorship and support to ensure Kronos’ delivery for Pines Garden.
Interested in hearing more about this project?
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