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.
Cadell Street Studio camera obscura
3 March – 11 April
Guided tours leaving Thursday – Saturday, 2pm from the South Coast Regional Art Centre
FREE entry. Bookings are essential.
The Cadell Street Studio in Goolwa has been set up by Robyn Stacey to accompany the exhibition Robyn Stacey: Ray of Light currently on display at the South Coast Regional Art Centre from 3 March – 11 April.
Stacey has worked in photography since the 1980s and since 2013 has worked with the camera obscura technique to create photographs. The camera obscura, from the Latin meaning ‘dark room’, is an optical device whereby an image of the surrounding world is projected onto a screen or wall in a darkened room. In each of these rooms, a lens is affixed onto a small area of a window and all other light sources are blocked out to the room. The result was an inverted view of the external surroundings, cast onto one of the walls in the room.
In this camera obscura you will see the main street of Goolwa flipped upside down and in reverse, with cars driving along the ceiling and clouds floating across the floors.
The camera obscura can be accessed by joining one of the guided tours leaving from the South Coast Regional Art Centre on Thursday to Saturday at 2pm.
Entry is FREE. All tours will adhere to Covid-19 safety measures. Bookings are essential and can be made via the gallery [email protected]
The exhibition and camera obscura is presented in partnership with Country Arts SA, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Regional Galleries Association of South Australia.
Please note that due to the nature of the venue, access to the Cadell Street Studio is only accessible via a narrow and steep staircase.
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