Ronny Heiremans


The image projected through a 13cm convex lens and sloping mirror on to a fixed circular table 1.5m in diameter, with a concave metal surface, is that of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, designed by Brunel, a British engineer who’s designs revolutionized public transport and modern day engineering. Visitors of the Camera Obscura can turn the mirror by hand to change the direction of view.
The Observatory is a former mill, now used as a view point, located on Clifton Down. In 1828 William West, an artist, rented the abandoned old mill, as a studio. West installed telescopes and a camera obscura, to help students from the Bristol School of Artists, who used it to draw the Avon Gorge and Leigh Woods on the opposite side. The pictures, which originated from images within the camera obscura he called 'photogenic drawing' and were based on the work of William Fox Talbot. Rendering pictorial images the camera obscura was instrumental in the process of objectivation, filtering, ordering and manipulation of visual information as means of expanding human knowledge and concerted control over the whole of reality.