Reclaiming The Landscape


Camera Obscura

Pennabilli, Italy



Using as inspiration the rich history and diverse landscape of Pennabilli as well as the surrounding area, this project proposes a camera obscura that combines diverse cultural, religious and topological aspects to create a temporary yet memorable experience for the visitors and the local community. In our everyday lives, online, in books and magazines we view thousands of pictures every day, yet we never really look at them. Instagram, facebook and other applications are an endless archive of information that is viewed only for a fleeting second. A camera obscura is an opportunity to stand still, pay attention and really look at the beauty of nature and architecture. This project sees the camera obscura not only as a temporary installation but also as an event for the whole community. Therefore we propose that the camera is constructed off site and then carried to the top of the hill starting from the main square. This path will be signified by rocks covered in gold reflective film (the same material as the camera). These rocks will guide the visitors from the center of the square to the top of the hill. One side of the camera will display handcrafted Tibetan wind chimes and bells that will be made by visitors during onsite workshops. Pennabilli has a strong historical bond with Tibet as well as a tradition for handcrafting. By night, three of the four sides of the camera can be opened to host performances and video projections. The camera will be constructed primarily with reclaimed materials provided by the local community (wooden doors, panels, timber, etch) to create a patchwork of styles that becomes much more personal. All the reclaimed materials will be covered with gold self-adhesive fire resistant film which will reflect the surrounding landscape, sky and ground and seal the interior from the light that would otherwise enter through any imperfections of the reclaimed materials. The interior of the camera will be painted white to reflect as much light as possible. After the end of the installation period the gold film can be removed and used as insulation for local renovations and the reclaimed materials can be refurbished to be used in local buildings or made into furniture.