clockwork moons


Singapore Art Museum


Exhibition installation views of 'Clockwork Moons'. Photographs courtesy of Singapore Art Museum, 2017.

The stories of those who experience time differently

Ink and incense-burned drawing on Korean paper, embroidery hoops, light. Variable dimensions.

Commissioned by Singapore Art Museum, 2017. 


Clockwork Moons is a series of eight kinetic artworks exhibited as part of Nicola's solo exhibition entitled Human Archive Project, at Singapore Art Museum. Created by drawing on paper using a burning process, each piece is mindfully inscribed using an incense stick to perforate the surface and create images in the voids left behind.

The works showcase the stories of those within communities who experience time differently, whether because their time is not their own or their lives have become unmanageable. This is a theme which Nicola started to research extensively after she was invited by the museum team to work as the 2017 artist mentor at Changi Prison, Singapore.

Members of disenfranchised communities have kindly welcomed Nicola and shared their tales. In this process, Nicola met prisoners whose lives are on pause whilst their time elongates entirely out of their control; families who, due to trauma have difficulty remembering the past; those who have no concept of future because they fear their life may not last another day; and those who are overwhelmed in jobs or situations where they are not in control of their own moments. In each case she has met inspiring individuals who have found the strength to manage their situation by not just being survivors but being overcomers.

Each moon represents the stories and experiences of those in 8 different communities or groups, including the elderly, trauma based families, migrant workers & domestic workers, young adults with chronic illnesses, individuals dealing with addiction, and inmates at Changi Prison.

This work was made possible through partnerships with H.O.M.E. charity, National University Hospital Children's unit, Changi Women’s prison, Yellow Ribbon Project, and all the individuals who participated and shared their experiences.

Commissioned by 

With the kind support of