Wollongong NSW 1994

ARROWS OF TIME. Wollongong City Gallery External Installation Project No. 5 Acrylic paint on 14 steel sheets each 220 x 50 cm.

Wollongong City Gallery

ARROWS OF TIME. These Arrows of Time, whose title is taken from the current vernacular of cosmology1, can be interpreted on various levels. The panels are loosely based on the directive chevrons familiar to habitué€s of motorways, expressways, freeways, tollways and highways’ Through the-process of dislocation, they take on a resemblance to such visual languages as tribal shields, ancient alphabets and genetic notations.

To counteract a purely formalist response to the Arrows, I have also introduced a narrative element’ on close inspection, each panel implies a negative-space reading of the dark chevron: stars and suburbs become discernible in a sequence of different glimpses from Sublime Point of wollongong and environs. Invert the panels, and the stars become suburbs and vice versa retaining the overall appearance of a linear nocturnal landscape.

The number of different combinations made possible by changing the placement of the 14 Arrows of Time totals 476,109,707,674,000 (14 ! x 214). What this means is that the visual arrangement of the Arrows could have been altered every 20 minutes since the beginning of time. 2

1 … the laws of science do not distinguish between the forward and backward directions of time. However, there are at least three arrows of time that do distinguish the past from the future. They are the thermodynamic arrow, the direction of time in which disorder increases; the psychological arrow, the direction of time in which we remember the past and not the future; and the cosmological arrow, the direction of time in which the universe expands rather than contracts.
Stephen W Hawking. A Brief History of Time. Bantam Press London 1988.
2 The. current estimate for the age of the universe is between 10 and 20,000,000,000 years.