Lorraine Walsh

Lorraine Walsh

Lorraine Walsh
Visiting Associate Professor of Art,
Art Director and Curator of The Simons Center for Geometry and Physics

Marking Time, 2020, drawing, ink on birch panel, 16 x 20 x 1.5″

Pre-pandemic, I began a new drawing, now titled Marking Time, considering climatic change. Specifically, I was drawn to glacial flow, and established a horizontal format to reflect upon these melting ice terrains. Incidentally, there are two types of glaciers: temperate (alpine) and polar (continental). Defining the thaw and evaporation of these dense icy masses with balance, movement and time is a complex–and fascinating–subject.

I shrunk my glacial observation to undulating organic lines folding and stratifying across a landscape to exemplify global warming. In my drawing, each mark is determined from the previous line, typically without a specific final point on a plane in space or time.

On March 11 the globe was officially in a pandemic, and my drawing shifted. While remaining true to initial inspiration, the drawing became an account of marking time. Daily I drew lines and recorded dates, like tally marks on a prison wall. As I continue to date each day, I consider elusive questions: What is time? Is it irreversible? How is it measured?

Today we measure time with a clock. In Emily Dickinson’s 1860 poem Time and Eternity, she writes: “A Clock Stopped.” And all of the best clockmakers cannot repair it. So, it (the clock) “just now dangled still.” Like then, and now, we welcome the expert clockmaker in all of us to move forward time’s arrow while decreasing the heat.