Cathy Haynes

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Chisenhale Gallery Victoria Park Residency
Cathy Haynes
November 2013-July 2014

"Imagine an island without clocks. Its people tell time by the movement of shadows, the pattern of birdsong, the swelling of buds. But often they forget about time altogether, lingering in its gardens, daydreaming on its winding paths, playing in its fields. This is a place set apart from ordinary time. This is Stereochron Island." - Cathy Haynes,

Chisenhale Gallery is pleased to announce Cathy Haynes’ new research project Stereochron Island, for the Chisenhale Gallery Victoria Park Residency 2013-14. Stereochron Island takes its starting point from Victoria Park’s history as London's first public park and builds on Haynes’ previous project as Timekeeper in Residence at UCL Petrie Museum (2013). Over the forthcoming months Haynes will present a series of public events and develop a new work for Victoria Park.

Haynes’ project investigates the devices we use to make sense of the world, such as clocks and time maps. She aims to dismantle the divisions between fields of knowledge that limit our sense of permission to explore, question and take part. Stereochron Island re-imagines Victoria Park as a fictional island state campaigning to liberate itself from the mechanical clock. Haynes observes that today many of us feel time-poor. Yet we have more time than ever before, thanks to extended life expectancy, labour-saving technology and the right to free time. She proposes that our time-scarcity results from a lack of fullness and variety in the kinds of time we comprehend, value, experience and craft. Stereochron Island invites a collective investigation into capturing the other, rarer kinds of time that Victoria Park still protects from our struggle against the clock.

Local solar time in Victoria Park is approximately ten seconds behind Greenwich Mean Time, prompting a re-establishment of local time on Stereochron Island. Haynes invites specialists and Park visitors to map a physical experience of time through data from field studies, for example: the rhythms of birds and plants; plotting shadows and the path of the sun; and mapping our internal sense of time. The events are accompanied by a website,, drawing together factual insights, discoveries and images from the Victoria Park field studies, provoking participants to reconsider what time actually is.

Cathy Haynes (b. 1973) lives and works in London. She is an artist, curator and writer.  Previous projects and exhibitions include A Storm is Blowing, UCL Petrie Museum, 2013; How to Map a Life, Rongwrong Gallery, Amsterdam, 2012 and No Such Place, QUAD, Derby, 2010. From 2006-09 Haynes collaborated with Sally O’Reilly to make Implicasphere, a serial mini-publication distributed inside Cabinet magazine. She has been a guest contributor for The Human Zoo on BBC Radio 4, Robert Elms on BBC London, and the Weekly programme on Monocle 24.

Stereochron Island Events
All events are free but booking is strongly advised. Under 16's must be accompanied by an adult. Please contact to reserve a place.
Please note these events involve walking across uneven parkland.

Why the clock is to time what laminate flooring is to trees
Wednesday 2 April, 7pm
Chisenhale Gallery, 64 Chisenhale Road, E3 5QZ
Cathy Haynes introduces her research project, Stereochron Island. Drawing on ideas from anthropology to astrophysics, and the skill of telling time through shadows and birdsong, Haynes argues that the Park protects a richer and more layered experience of time than the ‘mono’ time of the mechanical clock.
For images of this event please click here.

Telling time by the birds. A dawn walk
Saturday 26 April, 4.30am-5.45am
Meeting point: Crown Gate, Victoria Park, E9 5DU
How do birds tell the time? And how can we tell the time by birds? Peter Beckenham, ecologist at the London Wildlife Trust, leads a field study in Victoria Park to experience the most intense dawn chorus of the year.
For images of this event please click here.

Telling time by the trees and bees. A field study
Thursday 8 May, 12.30-2pm
The Hub Building, Victoria Park, E9 5DU
It’s the middle of the working week when, feeling time-pressed, many of us are out of the habit of taking a lunch hour. Tony Wileman, conservation ecologist at London Wildlife Trust, leads a walk tuning into natural rhythms in the Park to expand our sense of time.

Mapping Internal Time
Wednesday 21 May, 7-8.30pm
The Hub Building, Victoria Park, E9 5DU
Our most common forms of keeping track of our lives – the CV and the social media timeline – plot ‘career stages’ and ‘life events’ along a straight line of standard units. Do they let us represent our most valuable experiences as we really live them? Cathy Haynes leads a workshop in experimenting with other ways of mapping time, taking inspiration from the novel Tristram Shandy, designer Otto Neurath and ancient Stoic philosophers.

Making Midsummer Solar Clocks
11am-4pm, Saturday 21 June, The Royal Observatory, Greenwich Park, SE10 8XJ
11am-4pm, Sunday 22 June, The Hub Building, Victoria Park, E9 5DU
Chisenhale Gallery and Victoria Park are collaborating with The Royal Observatory to run two day-long workshops over the Summer Solstice weekend led by Public Astronomer Marek Kukula. Explore the vital link between sunlight and time by spending Midsummer learning how to make clocks from the shadows of ordinary objects and how the movements in the solar system affect shifts on Earth.

Dusk falls on Stereochron: the final field study
Wednesday 13 August, 8:30–9.30pm
Meeting point: Crown Gate, Victoria Park, E9 5DU

On the evening of Vertumnalia, the ancient celebration of seasonal change, Cathy Haynes will present a final event and a manifesto for Stereochron Island followed by a performance by cellist Natalie Rozario, improvised to the sounds of dusk.
For images of this event please click here.

The Chisenhale Gallery Victoria Park Residency 2014-15 is produced for the third year in partnership with Tower Hamlets Parks and Open Spaces Department. Previous artists-in-residence included Cara Tolmie (2012-13) and Matthew Noel-Tod (2011-12). Victoria Park opened in the mid-nineteenth Century to give East Londoners access to clean air and green space away from the factories, sweatshops and slums. Victoria Park benefits from a recently completed programme to restore key historic elements, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It was voted Britain’s favourite park in 2012.