The arc of the sun across the sky is one of the most enduring images: repeated every day for all to see. And yet, each time it’s a little different, varying according to geographical location, visibility, and time of year.
Chasing Suns is an ongoing long-term photographic project by artist Pauline Woolley. The images were produced with handmade photographic equipment. Using exposures varying from one minute to 24 hours, Woolley’s aim is to record “not only the sun’s movement, but also the atmospheric conditions of the event”.
As the artist herself says: “Over-exposed paper negatives record an extended glance of this daily occurrence, an occurrence unable to be observed by the human eye. On combining the images from differing equatorial points, a visual language, a language away from the complexity of scientific mathematical equations emerges. However, the use of multiple apertures and the over-layering of images brings into question the scientific validity of the images, as the aesthetic nature of the photographs starts to emerge.”
The result is a series of strange and ghostly maps, charting paths and glowing moments, curving journeys and intersections. In the foreground stand the silhouettes of unmoving houses and trees. The scales of time have been inverted. In truth, it is the Earth which orbits the sun. It is us who arc.
Image credits, top to bottom:
CHASING SUNS 52 & 3 degrees # 1 – Pauline Woolley 2014
CHASING SUNS 52 & 3 degrees # 2 – Pauline Woolley 2014
CHASING SUNS 52 & 3 degrees # 3 – Pauline Woolley 2014
CHASING SUNS 52 & 37 degrees # 4 – Pauline Woolley 2014
CHASING SUNS 52 & 39 degrees # 5 – Pauline Woolley 2014
CHASING SUNS 52 degrees # 6 – Pauline Woolley 2014
CHASING SUNS 52 & 39 degrees # 7 – Pauline Woolley 2014