“Eclipse III” was inspired by the process I use to hollow out the backs of my round sculptures. I aggressively attack the back of the disc with a circular saw to make relief cuts then scoop out the weakened wood with a large gouge chisel. I often found the wood in this roughened state very energetic and intriguing. I decided to try a sculpture that featured this texture and “Eclipse III” is the result. Since there was so much information in the sculpture’s surface I didn’t use metal elements or slots as I often do to emphasize this surface I wanted to make the sculpture as deep and pure of a shade of black as possible. This was accomplished by burning the wood, scraping it and adding various black pigments like black gesso and carbon black pigment.
Like most artists, I sometimes go through dark periods when I’m working in the studio. I was finishing the surface of a group of round pieces (Eclipse III being one of them) when I started to have this dispirited feeling. The idea to float the sculptures from the wall and illuminate the backs of them came from an affirmation that I tell myself when I’m in one of these episodes “the light is still there, I just can’t see it”. I find my Eclipse sculptures to be deep and thought provoking but at the same time uplifting.
Joe Segal, St. Augustine, FL