About the Artwork

How do we experience time passing? How do we keep track? Keeping Time describes a perception of time as inseparable from our environment, with moving water as a unit of measure. Two banners display a text adapted from Italo Calvino’s short story ‘Shells and Time’. The phrase is spoken by a shell lying on the seafloor millennia ago, as it witnesses the world taking shape around it and the invention of a human-centred notion of history. Through these experiences it voices the fragility of time and the inevitability of its passing, regardless of whether or not we keep track, as days and nights crash over us like waves.

Year: 2019

Copyright the artist. Photo: © Nick Turpin


Scaffolding fabric


Dimensions variable

Artist Biography

Isabella Martin

Isabella Martin (UK) is a visual artist whose work explores how we fit in the world, how we shape and are shaped by our surroundings. Her research-driven practice is multidisciplinary and context-specific, utilising experimental play and scientific collaboration. She holds a BA (hons) in Fine Art Sculpture from Brighton University, and an MFA from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Isabella has exhibited and participated in residencies and public commissions nationally and internationally. Recent projects include WAVE MACHINES, exhibited at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, The Old Recent at RYMD Gallery, Reykjavík, and The Burning screened at Crosscuts Film Festival, Stockholm.