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RPS: Camper Obscura by FotoNow

Saturday 24th November

10am until 4pm

Postponed until Saturday 1st December due to recent adverse weather conditions.


Drop in and join maverick photographers and university lecturers Matthew Pontin and Jonathan Blyth in their ‘Camper Obscura’, a mobile camera obscura in a 1986 VW transporter. Hop into the dark space to see projected obscura images, have your portrait taken and take part in this exciting community activity.

“After more than a year of planning, the Summer of 2010 saw FOTONOW bring their project Camper Obscura into life. Photographers Jonathan Blyth and Matthew Pontin had already established a practice in working with communities in building camera obscuras in working with young people on education projects, the idea of a mobile vehicle emerged in the shape of a Foster and Day coach-built 1986 VW T25 camper van. The Camper Obscura would be used for a residency, supported by Devonport Regeneration Community Partnership, to engage as many different people across Devonport in exploring their relationship with social and historical aspects of the area.

To be able to enthuse and inspire FOTONOW installed a camera obscura into the back of the camper, thanks to a lens provided by obscura enthusiast Derek Swindley, based in Liskeard (Cornwall).

Camper Obscura was a free experience to members of the public that engaged in the many appearance the vehicle made around the area, 50 days in total including visits to schools, community groups, residential homes, parks and local events. The lasting outcome of the many educational workshops, impromptu portrait sessions and photographic studies made by FOTONOW is the contemporary archive (here online) as well as an exhibition within Devonport Library at St Aubyn’s Chapel.

Camper Obscura continues its journeys around the region, appearing in schools to deliver photography workshops and heading off to relevant festivals such as Hereford Photography Festival and PhotoMonth in London. The vehicle is the outreach project for FOTONOW, engaging a wide variety of people that hop into the dark space to see projected obscura images.

The project is now funded by FOTONOW as it looks to find means to best develop innovative projects and support a better understanding of photographic and community arts practice.”

Part of the Royal Photographic Society 155th International Print Exhibition.
View all events in the programme »


All of the activities and workshops are free to members of the public. Donations are very welcome.

Contact Claire Carroll, Arts Coordinator for more information on any of the activities taking place, or to book spaces for workshops.

The events in this programme have been made possible with help from Frome Town Council.

More Information

To find out more, please visit our recommendations online:

Camper Obscura Official Site

The Royal Photographic Society Official Website

Rook Lane Chapel

Available to the community as the perfect setting to showcase skills and artistic talent, this prestigious venue is used for performances and exhibitions.

Around the chapel

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