From the outside, it’s a modest white kiosk with a painted sign. “Roll up! Roll up!” When we pass through the heavy velvet curtain and step inside it takes a moment for our eyes to adjust to the darkness. Our gaze is drawn to an ordinary circular table, or is it a window to the world outside?
You’re allowed to play with the camera. Pull the lens closer to the table to zoom in. Push it upwards to pan out. Three wooden plates can be lifted, tilted and moved around to focus on something, or someone! It’s fascinating to play with the equipment and consider how it works. There’s also an element of voyeurism to this. There’s a conspiratorial feeling shared amongst a small group of strangers as we observe in secret. A plate is lifted by a young boy – “Look, I can see mummy out there!”
We pan out to watch the hustle and bustle of the festival going on around us. There’s a big queue of parents with their children outside the face painting tent; the sand pit is full of kids building castles; the colourful flags, caught in the wind are flapping on their tall poles and hundreds of bubbles float across the scene.
“It’s so simple really” explains Tony who made it. Look out for Willettes Camera Obscura at festivals across England throught the summer months or find out more on their website by following the link below.