Harrison's Garden at Gunby

Artist Luke Jerram with his installation, 'Harrison's Garden'.

From 10 February to 4 June be amazed by an exciting clock installation in the Gunby basement.

Three rooms in Gunby's basement will be the venue for Harrison's Garden, an installation of over 2,000 clocks by artist Luke Jerram.

The Gunby team enjoyed helping Luke Jerram with the installation of Harrison's Garden
Gunby team with Luke Jerram
The Gunby team enjoyed helping Luke Jerram with the installation of Harrison's Garden

Imagined Landscape

‘Harrison’s Garden’ by artist Luke Jerram promises to be a spectacle for the eyes and ears. The clocks are clustered to form patterns and shapes along the floors and surfaces and set to different times so that visitors will hear a musical delight of ticking, clicking and chiming throughout the day.

" For me, Harrison's Garden is an imagined landscape; a garden of clocks. It is a glimpse of a surreal fictional world or perhaps an image from one of John Harrison's dreams. Like a garden, the installation is a living and growing collection of different clock species. "
- Luke Jerram

The installation has taken inspiration from the clock maker John Harrison. Harrison was born at Nostell Priory in 1693, the son of the estate carpenter and is known today as one of England’s greatest inventors for creating the marine chronometer, which made it possible to tell the time at sea.

Luke Jerram, Harrison’s Garden at Thelma Hulbert Gallery
Clocks from The Harrison's Garden installation
Luke Jerram, Harrison’s Garden at Thelma Hulbert Gallery

Clocks of all shapes and sizes

Many of the clocks in this installation have been donated by the public, each carrying their own personal story and significance. How many times has each clock been glanced at by their owners, touched, moved, reset? What important and mundane events have been prompted by the clocks’ alarms and chimes ringing out? What might the art installation look like if the collection of clocks were assembled in another country or perhaps in hundred years time?

The clocks are spread out over three rooms in the basement
Clocks in the old kitchen
The clocks are spread out over three rooms in the basement

With around 2,000 clocks in the installation so far, they have been clustered into species and form islands, pathways and borders. Some clocks seem like classics of their time, others are a pastiche, pretending to be classical clocks of a previous era. Some clocks are on the march, whilst others seem to be in conversation with one another.

There are carriage clocks, which presumably have been given to employees in their retirement, travel clocks, anniversary clocks, childrens clocks, digital alarm and wall clocks. Clicking, ticking, the landscape of sound is beautiful, rhythmic and musical, but also at times unnerving. The installation seems alive, gently twitching.

Jerram has clustered the clocks into different 'species' in the garden.
Art installation 'Harrison's Garden'
Jerram has clustered the clocks into different 'species' in the garden.

In our current age, the measurement and structure of time seems more important than ever, but many of these analogue clocks seem to have lost their value, their function in part replaced by clocks on our mobile phones, computers and other digital technology.

The installation is perhaps a reminder that we are all here now, simultaneously moving through time together. Our time on this earth is limited and precious. How much time have we lived; how much have we got left? Each with our own body clock, we calibrate ourselves each day through the man-made clocks which surround us.

Touring Artwork

Harrison’s Garden has begun to tour. Having left Nostell Priory, then went to Castle Drogo a National Trust Property in Devon. The artwork will be on display in Gunby Hall  from 10 February to 4 June and then travel to Penryn Castle. With donations from the public adding to the collection for each presentation, the installation of clocks is growing. The different context for each presentation, affects how the artwork is interpreted.

Did you have any clocks similar to the ones you see? Do they bring back memories?
Art installation 'Harrison's Garden'
Did you have any clocks similar to the ones you see? Do they bring back memories?

Luke Jerram, a creator of sculptures, installations and live arts projects across the globe, is excited to see Harrison’s Garden expand in size and sound as it spreads across historic National Trust spaces, with each place asking their local communities to donate 500 additional clocks.

Visit the exhibition on normal house open days from 11am to 5pm (the house is closed on Thursdays and Fridays). Harrison's Garden will be in the Gunby basement until 4 June.