The Sun Fills My Eyes

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October 1998 - January 1999

Oil, light, dye destruction print

167.5 x 421.5 cm / 66 x 166 ”


The Sun Fills my Eyes and To Look at the Sun and See are both from the series Towards a Solar Eclipse (1998–99). Developing the technique he had used to create the Angel and Illumine series, this time stacking three glass containers with various amounts of oil to filter and refract the light, he created sequences of circular images appearing like the phases of penumbra. The disks represent not so much an actual sun but rather they describe a retinal, solar afterimage. The hovering intensity and repetition of these disks calls to mind the letter of Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1727) describing the after-effects of his experimental attempts to stare directly into the sun:


'In a few hours I had brought my eyes to such a pass that I could like upon no bright object with either eye but I saw the sun before me, so that I durst neither write nor read but to recover the use of my eyes shut myself up in my chamber made dark for three days together and used all means to divert my imagination from the Sun. For if I thought upon him I presently saw his picture though I was in the dark. But by keeping in the dark and imploying my mind about other things I began in three or four days to have some use of my eyes again and by forbearing a few days longer to look upon bright objects recovered them pretty well, though not so well but that for some months after the spectrum of the Sun began to return as often as I began to meditate upon the phaenomenon, even though I lay in bed at midnight with my curtains drawn.'


Illumine - Garry Fabian Miller - A Retrospective by Martin Barnes.

Merrell London/New York 2005.

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