Artist profile - Kathryn Monks, Monks Astrology
- Credit: Pics; John Cocks
An artist in Darwen has clocked on to the benefits of mindfulness and the importance of taking time to appreciate our surroundings.
The pressure is on. You have to drop the children off, get to work, complete that report, be at that meeting, make that call and be back to collect the children. Then you have to cook their tea, get them to their clubs and activities, do the shopping and have the children home and bathed before bedtime.
The clock is constantly ticking and it can be hard to find time to stop and think, and almost impossible to reflect on your life.
But an artist from Darwen has the solution: mindfulness clocks that remind you, as you glance anxiously at the time, to live in the moment and to be conscious of your surroundings.
Having spent 15 years as a psychiatric nurse, Kathryn Monks is acutely aware of the pressures people face, and the toll they can take on our mental health.
Since she changed the course of her life, the mum-of-two has been determined to help others take stock of theirs.
'People worry about the future and agonise over the past but the clocks help you to realise that the time is now and in the present moment things are ok,' she said.
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'As an artist, I have always been interested in time and how time moves. It can put a huge pressure on people - to meet a deadline, to finish a project, to hit a target. When people are tense they don't tend to breathe properly, so the clocks remind you to breathe in and to breathe out and to feel contentment and happiness.'
Kathryn makes the clocks in the workshop in the cellar of her home in Darwen, where she also creates a range of astrological clocks and charts and Christian clocks with biblical quotes on the face.
After leaving her role as a nurse, Kathryn took a degree course in Fine Art at Blackburn College and also studied joinery. When she decided to concentrate on making the mindfulness clocks, she sold her woodwork tools to buy two laser machines which etch her designs into the clock faces.
'The clocks combine my interests in mental health and art,' she said. 'They are clean and simple in a world that is frantic and pressured.
'The second hand sweeps round, so there's no frantic tick-tick-tick and they have "Now" in place of the numbers. The most popular clock also has a lotus flower on the face which represents re-birth and is often associated with yoga - and that's all about mindfulness and meditation. The largest clock is 44cms across and has about 300 Swarovski crystals on it. I like a lot of bling.'
Prices start at from £48. To find out more, go online to monksastrology.com.