Wings of Time

A passage from The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (Volume IX chapter 8) is the spark of inspiration for this visual exploration of the perception of time. In my previous work Flatland and Wingbeats, I had treated time as physical matter rather than an abstract concept. Here I turned my attention to the village of Coxwold where Sterne lived whilst writing Tristram Shandy, and especially to St. Michael’s church where Sterne was appointed vicar in 1760.

Physically affected by its people, animals and weather, the Coxwold of today and Sterne’s Coxwold co-exist as time becomes as tangible and visual as the cogs of St. Michael’s clock. The 'light clouds of a windy day', the twist of a lock of hair, the dance steps of children or a fallen leaf trapped in a stream - through these images we can experience time from a different angle and break our perception of it as a linear phenomenon.

Commissioned by The Laurence Sterne Trust with funding from Renaissance Yorkshire. Prints based on the film can be seen here.