Do the time warp

When Castlemaine’s Leslie Thornton was a schoolboy he lived next door to the school – but was always late.
In class the young Leslie would stare longingly at the schoolroom clock and today reports that he could often observe the second hand slowing down – or even stopping completely.
Now the acclaimed contemporary artist gets his revenge on time and the power it holds over our lives in his latest exhibition, Clocktober, to be launched this Friday October 5 at CASPA – Castlemaine Contemporary Art Space.
Clocktober features 100 clocks, all of them ticking away faithfully keeping time as we know it, but all of them altered in a manner some may find disconcerting but others will find humorous.
“I’ve been making humorous clocks for about 20 years but this is the first time I’ve actually had an exhibition devoted to horology,” Leslie says.
“I like to think of myself as a bit of an iconoclast. I like to challenge ideas.”
In Clocktober the local artist certainly challenges a few ideas about what we expect from our traditional timepieces.
There’s the Mars Bar Clock, the Five O’clock Happy Hour Clock, on which the digit five occurs five times, there’s the Runover Clock – ” because he ran over it,” Leslie’s partner, Tracey Naughton says.
Tracey is a textiles artist and also contributed to Clocktober with about half a dozen clocks which have been altered in various ways by her textile art.
Leslie says that while Clocktober is “light-heated” it also sets out to prompt the viewer to question rigid concepts and preconceived ideas.
“But it’s 90 per cent fun,” he adds.
Accordingly, comedian and performer Sue Ingleton will officially open Clocktober with a special surprise script, with everyone welcome to the opening at which Tic Toc biscuits will feature along with champagne which has also been known to alter time.
The opening happens this Friday, 6-8pm, and Clocktober will continue at CASPA – located above Stoneman’s Bookshop – through to October 30.
Tracey confesses she just can’t wait for the exhibition to begin.
“All these ticking clocks are driving me mad,” she laughs.

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