Carrick Hill is Australia’s most intact twentieth-century heritage house museum and garden. Aspects of its privately-collected French, British and Australian fine and decorative arts collection are of an international standard, including masterpieces of British modernism and fine examples of seventeenth-century furniture and house fittings.
In an ongoing project, Sydney based artist Robyn Stacey has selected many sites across Adelaide, including Carrick Hill, the SAMHRI Building, The Cedars, Parliament House, Port Adelaide, the Brookman Building at the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Institute Building, and has converted each into temporary camera obscura. These seven locations have been transformed into a wondrous theatre whereby the world outside becomes a magic object.
Creating or placing a camera obscura at various attractions reached its peak in popularity during the nineteenth century where visitors were incited and enthralled by the devices’ simple ability to conjure magic. Recalling this sentiment, for the duration of Magic Object, Robyn Stacey will transform a room at Carrick Hill into a camera obscura for visitors to experience this enchanting phenomenon, as seen in her large scale photograph of the space, for themselves. As visitors will note, while their eyes may first register the image upside down it is their brain that, in some mysterious way, finally turns the view around. Both our senses, and the photographs on display at the Art Gallery of South Australia, suggest that things are not always as they at first seem.
Eight of Stacey’s camera obscura photographs will be on display in Gallery 7 at the Art Gallery of South Australia during Magic Object, including Tear Drop Garden, Carrick Hill (2015) which depicts the lush front garden at Carrick Hill as projected within one of the rooms at the Hayward’s once private residence.
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