Ten years of challenges, highs and lows, and resilience has culminated with the opening of Whangārei's Camera Obscura sculpture project.
The project was initiated in 2011 by photographer Diane Stoppard and architect Felicity Christian. Sculptor Trish Clarke joined the team in 2015 and the trio have since turned their dream into reality.
Yesterday the sculpture was formally opened on its site beside the Hatea River - and Stoppard admitted a few tears were shed, almost a decade after the seed was sown.
She said she had learned a lot about resilience in getting the project from conception to completion, but she was inspired by the way the community had backed the project.
''There's been a lot of challenges along the way, some highs and lows, but it's been amazing walking that path with the community support, which has been outstanding.
''Until now everybody has seen the outside, but the inside looks magical, and that's been our little secret. But today everybody can see it and it's just wonderful. I'd encourage anybody to spend some time inside it. And it will look different depending on the time of day and season.''
Stoppard thanked all the people and organisations that had helped the project progress and she was sure it would be a popular addition to the city.
The Camera Obscura - which will be open from dawn to dusk - will depict Te Matau a Pohe, the lower Hatea River bridge. While the foundation measures an area of 8m by 8m, the structure expands to 12m at its widest spot.
The art installation cost a total of $991,000, paid for by donations and the Provincial Growth Fund.
■ Camera obscura from Latin camera obscūra, "dark chamber" - also referred to as pinhole image - is the natural optical phenomenon that occurs when an image of a scene at the other side of a screen is projected through a small hole in that screen as a reversed and inverted image (left to right and upside down) on a surface opposite to the opening.
The surroundings of the projected image have to be relatively dark for the image to be clear, so many historical camera obscura experiments were performed in dark rooms.
The term "camera obscura" also refers to constructions or devices that make use of the principle within a box, tent or room.