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Eclipse

8'x16'x55'
aluminum, paint, steel, epoxy
1/00
$19,400 commission; Moore Regional Hospital Auxiliary

Moore Regional Hospital Outpatient Lobby; Pinehurst, NC
(see statement below)


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My starting point in creating a mobile for the lobby of the Outpatient Facility at Moore Regional Hospital was a careful study of the architectural characteristics of the room. The length and height of the room were obvious considerations. The strong lines of the columns and beams also seemed to call for some response in the mobile. I allowed those characteristics to guide my design choices.

To maximize visibility from all parts of the room, I divided the mobile into four main sections, with one hanging from each of the four beams. This arrangement allowed the moving pieces in adjacent sections to overlap in their rotations, which lead to the central design feature of the mobile--the near touching of adjacent pieces. There are more than a dozen points where the pieces can come within two inches of each other.

While developing the large-scale forms and movements of the mobile, I simultaneously explored design options for the individual pieces of the mobile, settling on circular forms--disks, hoops, crescents, and spheres--as a unifying design element. In considering various ways for adjacent pieces to nearly touch as they passed, I realized that some pieces could, in effect, pass through others if I cut out sections from some of the disks. Each cutout is like a shadow of the disk or sphere that occasionally passes through that space--thus the title, Eclipse.

The stationary red spheres add a layer of complexity to the design in their contrast to the moving parts. The arc created by the spheres cuts right through the space occupied by the moving pieces, yet none of them collide. Visually tracing the path of the spheres across the room is somewhat like seeing a series of time-elapsed photographs. The five spheres can be seen as a single object at different points in its trajectory. It could be a comet whooshing through space or a planet held in its curved path by some distant star.

In my aspiration to make the mobile interesting from all viewpoints--including looking directly up--I became intrigued with the visual effects of screens. I experimented with many variations and settled on the closely spaced rods that span the hoop ends. I enjoy the subtle vibrations or moiré patterns that are created as one screen passes in front of another screen.

Eclipse is constructed primarily of aluminum. The spheres were bent by hand from various sizes of aluminum tubing. This mobile was more difficult to balance than any mobile which I had previously made due to the numerous points of near contact between pieces. In many places, if a piece were hung an inch higher or lower, or if the balance point were offset by a couple of inches, it would collide with another piece.

While the design suggests somewhat of a planetary theme in its circular orbits, sense of gravitational pull, and eclipsed disks, the design is ultimately more visual than conceptual. Many interpretations are possible. In any case, I hope that viewers will find pleasure in the gentle movements, diverse visual patterns, and bright colors of this continually changing sculpture.


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