A circle made of multiple, colourful concentric rings is printed in the centre of a horizontal sheet of white paper. From a small magenta circle in the centre, crisp rings of vivid colour radiate outwards in a variable pattern of magenta, blue, crimson, green and red.

Claude Tousignant

Accelerateur chromatique 1967, 1971
serigraph on paper
65.2 x 50.9 cm
Collection of the Owens Art Gallery

The sight of a SOLAR ECLIPSE in full totality is a disorienting and emotional experience. Our planet rotates around the sun, with a moon that orbits around it at a tilt of 5 degrees. Every 400 years or so, the moon may pass between your eyes and the sun so precisely as to appear to overlap with the latter. For a few minutes, this cosmic arrangement will be visible in a small range by a few individuals. It makes the immediate environment go dark and become several degrees cooler. Birds go quiet and nocturnal insects sing. Electrical systems shudder and gravity vacillates in ways that have not yet been explained. Every fundamental truth of day and night that you take for granted as regular and stable no longer applies, and conditions are unlike anything ever experienced in one lifetime on earth. Instead, you recognize you belong to another order—that of the universe. The truth of this may make you weep.

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