Whangarei gets the go-ahead for camera-obscura sculpture
Photographer Diane Stoppard, architect Felicity Christian, and sculptor Trish Clarke have joined forces to work on the Camera Obscura — Whangarei Sculpture project. The plan proposed to the Whangarei District Council was to create a large interactive steel sculpture that would reflect Whangarei’s waka history and house a camera obscura within it. The trio has now received the exciting news that their project has been approved. The sculpture will be located on Pohe Island looking towards the Te Matau ā Pohe lift bridge, and the council will cover its ongoing management and maintenance.
Stoppard says, “The camera-obscura project is really exciting — we have been working on it for a year now … [and] we are gearing up for a Kickstarter crowd-fund in November … We intend the camera obscura to be an international piece, joining a handful of other significant camera-obscura structures in the world. The inclusion of CCTV cameras brings a ‘current surveillance’ culture to the project and will project our extraordinary rolling-lift bridge to the world via the web. You will be able to see the bridge lift via the oldest camera tech (camera obscura) through the newest tech (CCTV/web).”
The structure is described as an eight-metrehigh circular steel sculpture, with a COR-TEN steel exterior with aluminium detailing and a painted-steel roof. The interior will be wooden, and the CCTV technology will be housed inside to showcase the Hatea riverside, pedestrians, traffic, the lift bridge, and the sky via the web, as well as providing safety to visitors.
Because of its size and design, it is hoped that it will become an internationally recognized camera-obscura structure and a valued tourist attraction for Whangarei, as well as being an educational destination for schools in Northland and further afield.
For more information and to stay abreast of the project’s progress, visit the Camera Obscura Whangarei Facebook page.