Collectors and Collections: The Timelessness of Clocks

Collectors and Collections: The Timelessness of Clocks

In their daily lives, people notice many different things. What they often overlook? The standard analog clock donning the walls of most  classrooms and homes. For Skidmore sophomore Sean Heaney, the everyday object has become a collection item. Heaney has a wall full of different clocks he has collected over the years, with a story to tell about each one.

The collection started around middle school, when Heaney started admiring their various shapes and styles. He liked them so much, in fact, that he remembers asking for a clock as a birthday gift. Despite the strange reaction from his parents, Heaney kept collecting.

Slowly over time Heaney built up enough clocks to fill a wall in his bedroom, creating a unique display. In a middle school art class, Heaney was inspired by a painting he did where clocks overlapped with each other, each one a different color to create a collage. “I thought it would be cool to have a physical manifestation of that with real clocks.”

Heaney loves looking at the display. “I don’t turn them on, so they’re all on different times. I think it’s interesting because everyone is on a different time and everyone has a different amount of time, and there’s something poetic about it.”

Heaney gets his clocks from all over—one all the way from Paris, others just local gifts from friends. He explained how one gift in particular symbolizes some of Salvador Dali’s work, where the clock looks like it’s melting. The gifts mean more to him, as they are sincerer coming from friends and relatives.

“Even if they’re not as cool as other ones, they still have the sentimental value behind them.”

All of the clocks look different, with one being made from all recycled materials and another that used to be an old vinyl record. When put all together, this creates an effect unlike any other.

Since being away from home, Heaney expressed how his collection is not as prominent in his life. He still gets some clocks when he returns, but much less often than when he used to.

He is still devoted to what his collection is now but is unsure if he will continue finding new clocks as he gets older.

“For now, they’ll just stay up on that wall since I don’t think I’ll ever take them down, but we’ll see where time takes us.

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