Sunscribes: Michael Papadakis using sunlight as a tool to create sunlight art

Sunscribes, otherwise known as Michael Papadakis, harnesses the power of the sun as his artist’s tool to create sunlight art. 

Dubbed Heliography, Sunscribes uses an array or mirrors and lenses to focus the sun’s powerful rays into art. Using reflection and refraction to focus the sun’s energy onto specific organic materials such as wood, Sunscribes creates etches with a unique tool.

Armed with a magnifying glass in one hand and a piece of wood in the other, Sunscribes “lets the sun be his guide” producing beautiful artworks including portraits, banners, and slogans.

Michael Papadakis’s unique method of “storytelling” began while travelling in Central Asia in 2012, where he became acquainted with patience. He says: “I unearthed a hidden talent I never knew I had, patience. Patience, my greatest asset, had been suppressed by the business of life, and it wasn’t until I left my comfort zone that I re-established my connection between the SUN and my ability to be patient.

“I let the Sun be my guide as I travelled for 14 months across the high plateaus of the Pamir Mountain Range, making Sunlight Art for the local people. It was along this ancient trade route formally dubbed the “Silk Road” where I experienced some of the sunniest moments of my life.”

On his return home to Colorado in 2013, the artist began experimenting with different forms of Sunlight, where he made the discovery that refracted sunlight (sunlight passing through a lens) and reflected sunlight (sunlight reflecting off a mirror) had very different characteristics. And so heliography was born. 

Sunscribes has been sharing his art form with the world since 2016, performing as live events and working with brands to help them “develop their voice with this unusual yet uniquely effective form of branding”.


Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea

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