The Camera Obscura - Timatatanga Hou
This 8m spiral steel sculpture which celebrates the shipbuilding and maritime history of the Hatea river in Whangarei, contains a Camera Obscura room. Viewing Te Matau ā Pohe bascule bridge, this interactive art experiences offers the experience of being inside a camera/eye and offers a new visual perspective on the world. With CCTV cameras throughout the structure, a tv screen on the exterior offers a surveillance view of the internal experience. Free-to-view, this is a unique destination for visitors and families on the popular Hatea Loop walkway.
The exterior design is inspired by the hull of a ship, the detailed steel wrap (a collaboration between artists Trish Clarke and Poutama Hetaraka) tells the stories of the river from a Māori and European perspective. The white spiral roof represents a snail form and lens aperture whilst the white cut out canopy reflects the mangroves that sit at the water’s edge.