Time Is Elastic…


Sean Harris at Wells and Mendip Museum

These bones fascinate me, lying there in stasis..

They are time machines, tickets to our Dreamtime – a world beyond memory yet still a whispering ghost within us all.

Amidst the machine whir of DNA and strontium signatures may be heard the voices of our ancestors – distant and not-so-distant – whose stories they tell; the beast hunters of the Palaeolithic and the cave hunters of the Victorian era .

Contemplation of their striated ochre and cadmium-stained surfaces allows us quiet respite from the time-poor world we inhabit; one of frantic activity and anxiety, captured, shared, fretted over – white noise within the sweep of eight hundred millennia, the greater part of which hyaena prowled the landscape we now call Somerset, growing and shrinking in size in response to an ever changing climate.

Within the time frame of their occupation – and that of the breccia in which they lay entombed for so long, our lifetimes are the blinking of an eye; maybe the duration of five or six frames of stop-frame animation, one fifth of a second…