A Camera Obscura for Birmingham

Research and Development Programme

During the winter of 2015/16 we worked with four artists to learn more about our camera obscura through the development of new artworks. Find out more about the project.

Upside FrontUpside Down by Gen Doy
A bespoke song for Winterbourne Gardens, performed inside the camera.
Reflections FrontReflections: A play for the Camera Obscura by Matthew Gabrielli
A new short play using the fall from grace of Fatty Arbuckle to explore perception and point of view.
Wind FrontCamera Obscura + the wind by Dolly Kershaw
An augmentation making the image inside the camera dependent on wind as much as light.
Island FrontObscura Island by Michael Lightborne
A choreographed performance around a traffic roundabout in central Birmingham, viewed from within the camera.

A Camera Obscura for Birmingham

There are camera obscura all around the world, but for some reason there isn’t one in Birmingham, UK. We want to fix that.

We are Jenny Duffin and Pete Ashton, two photographer/artists based in Birmingham. We build camera obscuras because they’re cool and interesting and can be used for neat things. We take our cameras out around Birmingham and the West Midlands to show they to people and they tend to like them a lot.



We have a long term plan to establish a permanent camera obscura of some kind in Birmingham. It might be the traditional “lens on a roof”, it might be something radically different. But it will be awesome and it will be here.



On the way to that goal we plan to do lots of cool stuff with the camera obscura idea, building cameras large and small, running workshops, converting buildings, exploring the science and the art and generally bending light to our will. We’d like you to join us. Sign up for our mailing list so we can keep in touch.

flatpack workshop thurs 10

And while we’re building stuff in Birmingham we’ll also be exploring the world, online and on foot, to find out what inspirational camera obscura are out there and how we can learn from them. Check out our map and follow our journey on the blog!