Totality by Katie Paterson for the Arts Council Collection

Somerset House, London

April 2016

This mesmerising mirror ball, hanging from the ceiling at Somerset House, consists of 9,000 tiny images of nearly every solar eclipse that has been documented by humankind – including the oldest solar eclipse drawings from centuries ago and the first Victorian photographs, right up to modern-day amateur Flikr snaps. The mirrorball slowly spins on its axis, dispersing dots of reflected light around the room.

millimetre was commissioned to work out how to produce the 820mm-diameter sphere so that each of the 9,000 printed tiles would sit flush on the surface of the ball. The sphere was made from high density foam and 5 axis CNC routed into the exact shape. Then 9,000 recesses were cut out, to house the printed mirror tiles. It took 100 hours to glue in all of the tiles.

Katie Paterson
Photography: © Katie Paterson