Douglas Sheerer

Going Blind: Looking at the Sun


There is no questioning the voracity of the Sun in the consistently blue sky of Western Australia. Lingering like the most powerful liquidator predator, the 4.5 billion year old has no earthly competitor and is just one of around 100 billion Stars in our Galaxy. The sun’s visible photosphere is composed of a liquid like neon plasma covering the surface of the sun. We on Earth see the penumbral filaments that are several hundred kilometres deep as radiating light emitted from a central pulsating furnace.

My camera lens becomes a lingering drop bucket for these radical neon light beams - a latter day camera obscura and receptacle for solar light, UV messaging and digital translation. One can never ‘naked eye watch’ the Sun for any prolonged period ! Many split second direct ‘eye glimpses’ are necessary to bank image, colour and impressions to memory in order to embrace the full spectrum of after images and the colour and shape lingerings for later comparison to digital renderings. There is no other experiential way to gain this essential ‘first eye’ knowledge.



In this investigation my efforts are centred on a personal visual journey which has slowly meandered through the periphery of a scientific one. I greatly admire both Stephen Hawking the English theoretical physicist- cosmologist and the late Christopher Hitchens, English author, religious and literary critic, and journalist. I have read their books with great enthusiasm and respect. Predominantly using an iPhone 5 and 6 on HDR setting, assisted in some cases by pin hole devices and both physical and digital filters, I have captured and established original Sun images. These digital images have been worked to the point at which one can visualise, notationally compare and re-imagine the original subject matter in all it’s piercing ferocity, subtle ambiguity and after image meanderings,  ‘dark world’ amoebic morphings.

Initial central blazing White-Pink disk surrounded by enflamed Yellow closing to Pale Blue centre, surrounded by Indigo, Violet and Crimson.Lingering Black-Blue centre surrounded by Yellow Red, turning to White-Pink Yellow, Orange Red, Turquoise, Blue, Green. Lingering morphing Black, Blue, Red, Crimson amoebae shapes.

Re-imagining, Reflection and Rendition.  Through the lens unfiltered and filtered capturings, ‘naked eye’ observations, closed eye visualisations and in both cases immediate descriptive audio notations, one can visualise, notationally compare and re-imagine the original subject matter, the radiant light emitted from the Sun

I wish to dedicate this exhibition to the memory of William (Bill) Wright, Your light still shines.
Thank you to my dear wife and life partner Magda for your ongoing supportive encouragement, creative dialogue and positive criticism.
A special thanks also to Hilarie Mais for offering me this exhibition at WWAP