Time’s Last Chime

Time’s Last Chime – 2014, collage, 65cm x 95cm/26in x 38in, © 2020 Dixon Adair


This collage is an attempt to visualize our last moment.

A grounded ship, no longer seaworthy, has but its memory of sea lanes, expressed here through roads and highways that arc and curve like flapping sails.  Our mortal remains, like a suit of armor, straddle the bowsprit.

Hidden like a ghost in the bell tower, is an elderly rower. His hands reach out among the bells, holding oars—one becomes a train, the other a mast.  A clock face is his head, and his face that of an owl, a Kikuyu harbinger for death. 

Above, hands with fingers cocked and ready-to-snap emerge from multiple clock faces atop the bell tower.  Goats ready to butt each other rise up on either side of a cosmic bell. 

To the left, the seahorse blends into the scroll of a violin and a jellyfish, the latter being a shamanic symbol of acceptance and faith. He is a brave and patient navigator of the seas. 

The last chime will strike suddenly and all will be over quickly.

A well-lit opera house, suspended in the heavens, witnesses our last moment.

Other ‘last-gasp’ images to ponder:  lower left – pensive rower standing on upside-down dying tortoise; lower right – diving dolphin giving birth; bottom – Moray eel striking at oblivious seated man; behind armor suit – plaintive rat caught by boa constrictor; mid-left – fisherman about to launch his spear at eel to right; upper mid right – tribal elder blowing horn.

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