© White Cube / Photography: Stephen White

London-based artist Darren Almond (1971) truly has a multiple focus, dipping his toe in film, installation, sculpture and photography, producing evocative meditations on time and duration, as well as the themes of personal and historical memory. Currently on at White Cube gallery’s exhibition space in London‘s Southwark area is the artist’s latest exhibition entitled Time Will Tell.  On display is a new body of work which focuses on the idea of time and how it’s articulated through the language of numbers, drawing attention to the way time can frame, structure and inform our understanding of the world. And while time is a theoretical abstraction, it’s also a concrete reality within human culture, one that is always rooted in relativity.

Almond’s new series of paintings respond to this notion and to the idea that numbers are the only ‘true common language’. The basis of most organising systems, numbers are a primary determinant of human experience. Used to visualise the invisible, they not only quantify time, but enable scaling and mapping, are the language of economics, the tools of computer coding and the way to describe galactic schema too large for words alone. Consisting of a grid formed from rectangular panels, the paintings depict fragmented digits in a utilitarian font, such as are found in the urban landscape – typically in and around transport hubs, in their signage, timetables and clocks. The paintings are executed using varied media and techniques, including a concrete based-mineral paint, acrylic gel on mirror, or multiple layers of conductive metal leaf, such as copper, silver or palladium.

For a new sound piece, Almond was granted access to the Royal Observatory Greenwich in London to record the working mechanics of the three 18th-century marine timekeepers, designed and built by John Harrison (1693-1776). In an ode to American composer John Cage, the recordings are played simultaneously for 4 minutes 33 seconds throughout all the galleries, followed by a period of silence of the same duration, creating a melodic, circadian soundtrack that echoes the overlapping visual iconography explored in the paintings. The exhibition also includes Train Plates, an ongoing series which expands the tradition of metal and alloy naming plaques that are assigned to British locomotives (on through Jan 20). Location: White Cube, 144-152 Bermondsey Street (Southwark).

© White Cube / Photography: Stephen White