Whangarei gets the go-ahead for cam­era-ob­scura sculp­ture

The Photographer's Mail - - Front Page -

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.

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