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What clock time is important to you? Why is it important?

A new exhibit will explore how 1440 people in Stockton and the surrounding area answered these questions. 1,440 answers. 1,440 times and 1,440 reasons why that time is important. Taking the Time will take place in an empty shop at Wellington Square in Stockton this May.

Artists Gillian Lees and Adam Gregory will work without rest for a full 24 hours. During this time they will place 1440 digital watches in the space, one at a time. From 12pm on Wednesday 26 May – 12pm on Thursday 27 May they will place one watch every minute. A watch for each minute that makes up a 24 hour period.

The alarm on each watch will be set to a time donated by somebody with a connection to Stockton. Each representing a time of special significance to the person who donated it. Each one an answer to the questions: What clock time is important to you? And why is it important?

Members of the public can visit the space and see Gillian and Adam place the watches. You can join them for as little or as long as you’d like. Even if you can only spare a minute. A record of the times donated, and the reasons people chose them as significant will also be on display.

From 12pm on Thursday 27 May – 12pm on Friday 28 May the watches will be on display in the space. Each alarm will go off at its set time creating a monument that moves between silence and chorus to the rhythms of the town and its residents.

Visitors to Wellington Square will be able to drop in to the space and listen as the space shifts between sound and silence.

How it started

Taking the Time is the end result of a large participatory project that looked at how we experience time.

In 2019, Gillian and Adam spent time with people in Stockton and the surrounding areas asking them the following questions:

What specific clock time is important to you?

Why is it important?

It might have been the time their child was born. Or the time they get home from work, the time of their first kiss, or the time of the train you caught that morning. It could have been anything at all, as long as it was important and meaningful to the person who chose it.

This question was open to everyone that has a connection with Stockton, no matter how old or young.

This event was set to take place for March 2020, but was postponed as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. With restrictions starting to lift Gillian and Adam are looking forward to returning to Stockton. Join them as they reflect on the times most important to the town through this unique installation.