Sunday, May 07, 2006

Millenium Clock Tower of Edinburgh Royal Museum

The Millennium Clock Tower of Edinburgh Royal Museum.

The Millennium Clock tells us many different stories about the tragedies and hopes of the past millennium. As its creators said, 'it does not aim to show everything and makes no attempt to explain anything.'

You will have your own ideas about the stories it is trying to tell.

The clock tower is built in four sections:
- the Crypt
- the Nave
- the Belfry
- the Spire
Each section tells its own story.

The figure that you can see trapped in the Crypt is the Ancient Spirit. The wheels of the clock appear to be set in motion by the Egyptian monkey.

The next section is the Nave. Can you see the different characters in this part of the clock? They show ordinary people, like you and me, caught up in the wheels of time. What they can't see above them, however, are the figures of Lenin, Stalin and Hitler swinging the pendulum, which is supporting the figure of Death. You too are part of this performance - can you see your own reflection in the mirror pendulum?

In the Belfry there is a circle of 12 carved figures, one for each month of the year. This is called the Requiem. Each figure tells us something about the tragedies of the past.

Can you see the figure at the very top of the Spire? It shows a female figure carrying a dead man. This is called the pieta - Italian for pity and compassion. It is a symbol of sadness and courage.

The Makers of the Millennium Clock
The Millennium Clock was created by a team of artists from different countries, all of whom have lived and worked in Scotland:
- Eduard Bersudsky, scultor-mechanic
- Tim Stead, sculptor and furniture-maker
- Annica Sandstrom, glass artist
- Jurgen Tubbecke, clock-maker
- Tatyana Jakovskaya, artistic director of the project
- Maggy Stead-Lenert, illustrator

Tim Stead said of the project, 'The Millennium Clock Tower is full of the past, and the past is dark. I dedicate my part of the tower to Youth, who will bring light and energy into the future.' Tim Stead died in April 2000.

Further Information
For more detailed information:
- A copy of the Millennium Clock catalogue is available in the Museum Shop.
- Visit the Library Reading Room, 10-5 Monday to Friday. Please ask a member of staff for directions.

You can watch performances of the Clock at 11am, 12 noon, 2pm and 4pm.
We have limited the number of performances to preserve the clock mechanism.

The music played is the allegro from Concerto in A Minor BMV 593 by J S Bach.

References: Carpe Diem eh, a, b, c, The Millennium Clock Tower,
Tags: Millennium Clock Tower Edinburgh Royal Museum

1 comment:

willow said...

What a wonderful piece of mechanical art this is, hypnotic, mesmerizing & truly unforgetable.
Thank you to the creators for this truly amazing art work and may we never forget what it represents.