Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

August 2006: Greenbelt - Shed Obscura

We created a 'shed obscura' - a camera obscura in a garden shed. The idea was that inside the shed you could see a projection of the outside world but upside down.

Viewers were invited to sit in the shed and reflect on this upside down kingdom, and the way in which the Christian faith requires us to see things differently. Those who spent time in the shed were invited to write comments on the outside - most said it was an amazing experience.

In order to get a glimpse of the upside-down kingdom:

Go into the shed (maximum number about 6), first putting the ‘Engaged’ sign on the door.

Close the door and make sure the material stops any light coming in through the door. You need the inside of the shed to be really dark.

Stand or sit to either side of the shed facing the middle of the white wall. There will be markings on the floor indicating where to be.

Wait patiently. Your eyes will need to get accustomed to the light. Wait patiently, this might take 5 minutes or even longer.

If you want to increase your viewing pleasure, get friends or strangers to move about a metre or more away from the outside of the shed, behind where you are standing or sitting.

When you have finished, leave the shed and turn the sign on the door to ‘Vacant’.

You might want to record any thoughts you have about the upside-down nature of God’s kingdom. Use the chalk and write on the outside of the shed.


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On the outside, instructions and chalked responses. Note the projection lens in the square cutout.

Inside the shed, the lens throws an upside-down and mirrored image on the white-painted opposite wall. It's entertaining to watch people walking past upside-down.

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