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Michael Bilotta

To Wake the Morn and Sentinel the Night

This one was slow to come. It took a long time to work out, which is incredibly appropriate since it is simply about Time! It is a recurring theme with me, I am a slave to linear time, as most of us are, and I suppose middle age amplified this acute awareness of the relentless stalking predator that hunts us all.

I loved the simplicity of the original shot with its angles of hat and man and curves of horn, but adding other things into the composition proved slow going. It seems simple and obvious - stick some clocks in there, but its more about where to place them, what scale, what opacity. Still, it's a rare image that slow cooks over a couple weeks for me, and I am glad it's complete.

My title comes from a line from "The Rape of Lucrece" by William Shakespeare, from this wonderful rumination on the quality and purpose of time...

Time's glory is to calm contending kings,
To unmask falsehood and bring truth to light,
To stamp the seal of time in aged things,
To wake the morn and sentinel the night,
To wrong the wronger till he render right,
To ruinate proud buildings with thy hours,
And smear with dust their glittering golden towers;
To fill with worm-holes stately monuments,
To feed oblivion with decay of things,
To blot old books and alter their contents,
To pluck the quills from ancient ravens' wings,
To dry the old oak's sap and cherish springs,
To spoil antiquities of hammer'd steel,
And turn the giddy round of Fortune's wheel;
To show the beldam daughters of her daughter,
To make the child a man, the man a child,
To slay the tiger that doth live by slaughter,
To tame the unicorn and lion wild,
To mock the subtle in themselves beguiled,
To cheer the ploughman with increaseful crops,
And waste huge stones with little water drops.

Model: Ed Barron

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