Robyn Stacey, Australia, born 1952, Comfort Inn Riviera, SAHMRI, 2016, Adelaide, type C photograph, 110.0 x 146.7 cm (image and sheet); Courtesy the artist and Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney
Using the camera obscura Sydney-based artist Robyn Stacey depicts South Australia as it has never been seen before. Translating from Latin to mean ‘dark room’ the camera obscura is an optical device of wonder, whereby the external world is trapped and inverted within the room.
For this exhibition, eight large-scale camera obscura photographs by Stacey will be on display. First shown as part of the 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Magic Object, the photographs depict camera obscuras at well-known sites around Adelaide, including the Brookman Building at the University of South Australia, Carrick Hill, The Cedars at Hahndorf, the Institute Building, The Lighthouse Wharf Hotel in Port Adelaide, Parliament House and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).
In the artist’s words these bewildering photographs become ‘a mash up of inside and outside’. ‘The magic of the camera obscura is that it makes us question what we take for granted – the everyday experience is presented upside down and in reverse, mimicking the way an image forms on the retina. In some photographs cars drive over the ceiling and the sky and clouds cover the floor… it’s like being in a movie where you are in the world but removed from it at the same time,’ says Stacey. Camera obscuras have been confirmed for Bordertown, Mount Gambier and Hahndorf to date.
Robyn Stacey: Ray of Light will tour fourteen regional galleries in South Australia from 2018-2020. Room-sized camera obscuras will be installed at selected venues alongside the exhibition of photographs, allowing visitors to experience this optical device of wonder for themselves.
This regional South Australian tour is presented in partnership with Country Arts SA, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Regional Galleries Association of South Australia.
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