"Philosophic Mercury"

by Janet Saad-Cook (2001)

Sun Drawing in Washington, DC

Art in the Open Air


  In the open air on each sunny day, this house in DC comes alive with color.
Beginning at the vernal equinox and ending just past the autumnal equinox, the Sun Drawing image appears and travels across the front wall of the house for approximately four hours each day.


At midday, the image arcs over the front door, as seen in the picture to the left. The picture to the right, taken an hour later, shows that the image has moved several feet to the east, beyond the doorway. Sun Drawings can be used to tell time as well as the season.

The back of the Sun Drawing instrument is visible in the picture to the left, with the front of it reflected in the lower part of the glass storm door. See below for a close-up view of the front of the instrument.


Sun Drawing Instrument

Shaped, coated glass and shaped stainless steel make up the Sun Drawing instrument. In this picture, details of the outside environment are reflected in the steel and glass as intricate, curving spidery patterns.

For outdoor use, the Sun Drawing instrument is covered with a transparent dome to protect the optical surfaces from the elements.


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Last updated 22 Oct 2001 © Photos and text copyrighted.