If you’ve stepped on or off the Eurostar in the last few weeks you may have had a double take at the large white clock displayed in the south end of the station. Why? Because artist Cornelia Parker has created an eye-catching replica, One More Time.
It’s part of the Terrace Wires project, what some folk are calling the “fourth leg” of London’s rotational public art spaces, alongside the Fourth Plinth, Serpentine Gallery and the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. And what’s unique about such overwhelmingly visible public art is that it forces millions of travellers each year to at least stop, for a second, and question what it is they’re experiencing.
Suspended from the Grade 1-listed Barlow Shed roof, One More Time is a working replica of the station’s iconic DENT London clock, reversed out in black with white hands and numerals and silver detail. It’s made from aluminium, steel and Jesmonite and measures over five metres in diameter.
As it’s situated 16 metres in front of the original, the idea is that for those alighting from the trains, the original face will gradually appear eclipsed. Which, it’s hoped, might make you think – for a moment – about the passing of time.
At the very least, it should inspire a meditative thought or two in travellers rushing around to grab a coffee or paper. “The clock is the most conscious focus of a railway station, a dominant force,” says Cornelia Parker.
“Everyone is watching it, checking if they are late. The piece will introduce the idea of a parallel frame of reference, that of a slower astronomical time.”