Those backing one of Whangarei's largest science projects are using a room in the old Harbour Board Building to woo funders.
Photographer Diane Stoppard is collaborating with architect Felicity Christian and sculptor Trish Clark to put a large "camera obscura" sculpture on Pohe Island " a concept most are unfamiliar with, despite it being a valuable tool for understanding how light works, Ms Stoppard said.
A camera obscura is the optical device that led to photography and consists of a room or box with a hole in one side. Light from outside passes through the hole and strikes the walls inside, where the external scene is reproduced upside down.
In Whangarei, the sculpture would be positioned on the Riverside side of the Hatea Loop to show a projection of Te Matau A Pohe bridge, with the sculpture believed to be the first of its kind in the country.
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Ms Stoppard said the test camera obscura, in an upstairs room at the Town Basin's old Harbour Board Building, tested spatial volume, holes sizes, lenses and CCTV cameras within a mock space. She said the design process had been "very complex".
The CCTV camera would be used for security, but also recording a live feed for web, projecting an image of the award-winning bridge and the users of the camera obscura to the world.
Ms Stoppard acknowledged there was potential for mischief where users knew what went on in the room was being broadcast online.
"We'll have a screen at the entrance so you can look in to see who's in there [and] a slight delay to allow them time to pull it from the web. So there's a really interesting social aspect," she said.
Whangarei District Council had made no funding commitments to the sculpture and the proposers were seeking external funding. They hoped to have the final design and costs nailed by the new year.