Camera obscura at Trerice

April 6, 2009 § Leave a comment

Jamie House and Justin Quinnell

Largest Camera Obscura in England

The largest camera obscura in England is being constructed at the 16th century National Trust property of Trerice in Cornwall in May 25th – 28th

The unique double pavilion marquee design, the only one of its type in the world, will include:

  • A light exploration chamber, recreating experiments carried out by Aristotle and Isaac Newton.
  • A walk through time line corridor showing the history of optics since the building of Trerice in 1575
  • A final camera obscura projecting an inverted image of Trerice.

The interactive walk-in structure will be designed and built by pinhole photographers Justin Quinnell and Jamie House, two of the most cutting edge artists of this type in Europe.

Justin says:

“In these ‘pixel hungry’ times we hope this obscura will allow people of all ages to discover the simple wonder within the quality of light and encourage fascination with science and art.”

Jamie House says:

“Prepare yourself for a phantasmorgic spectacle of light, shadow, mirrors and much more…Don’t miss this chance to view the grounds of this wonderful Elizabethan manor house in new and exciting ways.”

The obscura will include opportunities for perspective drawing, experiments with mirrors, prisms, pinholes, lenses and slots, and the recreation of experiments which were the cutting edge of art and science in the 15th Century, the time Trerice was built.

There will also be a Gnomen positioned upon the tent to acting as a primitive sundial.

Justin Quinnell is a part time lecturer at University College Falmouth and at universities around the UK. He is the pinhole photography consultant for the forthcoming Rachel Weisz movie, ‘The Brothers Bloom’ UK publicist for World Pinhole Day and his book ‘Make your own paper camera’ is to be published in September. One of his 6-month duration images was NASA’s astronomical photo of the day in January.

Jamie House, experimental pinhole photographer of note, makes his own pinhole cameras from: balloons, art deco, make-up boxes, and parcels. He collaborates with artists around the world and is currently working with pinhole photographer Jo Babcock (USA). His most recent exhibitions include Dali Gallery, Southbank London and Brighton photo fringe festival, and Ersatz camera work exhibition, San Francisco (U.S.A).

f.f.i Please contact:

Laura Martin
Learning Officer (
West Cornwall) National Trust


Kestle Mill




Justin Quinnell

Jamie House

Create your own simple Camera Obscura:


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