The Camera Obscura is an ancient optical device.  In its most basic form it is, quite simply, a dark room with a small hole in one wall.  When light enters the hole it projects an image of the outside world onto the inner surface of the camera.

Feedback from a few people who experienced the project ‘Veiled Chamber’ shown on April 24th & 25th 2012 in the Alan Garner Centre.

The idea of entering a space through a curtain rather than a door created a sense of mystery.  Once seated and eyes adjusted to the lower light levels one experienced a new vision of the material world.  A seemingly insignificant external urban space was transformed into something extraordinary.  Often unnoticed details - the passage of a bird across the sky - held the gaze.  Watching people traverse the area was almost poetic and not voyeuristic.  Spending time watching events outside provided a ‘space‘ for one’s ‘inside’.  i felt grateful for the chance for reverie as indeed I hope it did for others.  it was an opportunity to gaze and let go.  In a way it functioned much like some churches are able to do where they offer mental sustenance.  Great use of a difficult and small space.  This should become a permanent peaceful contemplative space for those who work in the building, visitors or simply passers by’.   Paul Scull - Senior Lecturer (Wolverhampton University)

‘I greatly enjoyed Ann Walker’s exhibit ‘Veiled Chamber’ which was installed for a period at the Alan Garner Centre in Old Hall Street, Wolverhampton in April 2012.  For ‘The Veiled Chamber’ Ms Walker had converted a section of the entrance area at the Alan Garner Centre into a camera obscura.  This is basically a darkened chamber into which light can only enter from the outside world through a small hole.  In this case, the hole was in a blind over a window facing on to the fountain area in Old Hall Street.  The effect of this arrangement is to project an inverted image of the outside wortld all over the interior of the chamber.  (Birds appear to fly across the floor!)

The experience of being in the chamber is quite beautiful.  The image waxes and wanes in intensity as the sunlight changes.  Bright sunlight brings out vivid colours and much detail.  When the sun goes behind a cloud the image becomes ethereal.  At the same time the life of the street unfolds around the spectator in its strange upside-down fashion, the sounds of the street are muted out.  The total effect is one of getting a fresh glimpse of the familiar as though it were new, reminding the spectator that fascination and beauty are all around.’  Dr Peter Yates

Veiled Chamber’ is an amazing experience and a great way to view the surroundings around the Alan Garner Centre and see those surroundings in a new way.  Ann’s installation was beautiful - the saturation of the colours Eye-catching; it was almost as if she had created a bespoke mise en scene with passers by and individual viewing of the piece.  Brilliant!’ Jose Forten (Visual Artist & Project Manager)

‘It was just brilliant, radically different view of the world that was both entertaining and thought provoking from something so simple.  The fountains looked incredible...a memorable and worthwhile experience.’  Natasha Bruce Carline (Tutor at AES)

‘I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Veiled Chamber’ experience.  I felt it was an installation that anyone could enjoy.  When I say anyone, I mean from the very young to elderly.  Your physicality will not be an issue.  Once I gave my eyes time to adjust it was a beautiful place to be.  it was a great way to experience the local surroundings.  I would very much like to see/experience it again.’  Dulcie Phoenix (ex student)

‘When I visited a camera obscura at a young age, I was fascinated by it.  I wasn’t expecting to see one in Wolverhampton.  When i visited the veiled chamber I was surprised it was upside down, but after a while my brain began to adjust.  As i was sitting on my own it was easier to reflect on the image being shown, people going about their everyday lives, the clouds moving slowly by and the odd bird flying.  I could have sat for ages, looking at something I can see everyday, but the camera obscura has a beautiful way of making us take notice of what we see all the time and making it quite magical’  Belinda Maria Longsden  (Founder of ‘White Tree Studio & Gallery’ Wolverhampton)

‘I went to this today - birds flying upside down and fountains going downwards - amazing!’  Matthew Head (General Public)

‘My Dad and me thought it was awesome.  it would be great to have a permanent camera obscura somewhere in Wolverhampton.  It would be a great educational aid for students of all ages not to mention something interesting for the general public.’  Laura Dickens (Student - studying PHD in Visual Communication at Wolverhampton University)

‘Art in the Streets!  went to Ann Walker’s ‘Veiled Chamber’ today.  Strange and beautiful to see the world upside down and back-to-front!  Genius to put it in front of the fountains!  Anna Ingham (General Public)