Welcome to the latest Studio Spark, where the CWA design studio shares whatever has been sparking our creative imaginations over the past month – whether that be Art or Design, Film or Theatre, Music or Dance, Technology or Nature…

Here’s this month’s roundup.

Bringing the outside in

Written by Teresa Bembrick


Camera obscura’s (dark chamber) have been used for centuries. Leonardo da Vinci wrote about the camera obscura in his Codex Atlanticus in 1502.

If the facade of a building, or a place, or a landscape is illuminated by the sun and a small hole is drilled in the wall of a room in a building facing this, which is not directly lighted by the sun, then all objects illuminated by the sun will send their images through this aperture and will appear, upside down, on the wall facing the hole.


You will catch these pictures on a piece of white paper, which placed vertically in the room not far from that opening, and you will see all the above-mentioned objects on this paper in their natural shapes or colors, but they will appear smaller and upside down, on account of crossing of the rays at that aperture. If these pictures originate from a place which is illuminated by the sun, they will appear colored on the paper exactly as they are. The paper should be very thin and must be viewed from the back.

Artist like Canaletto and Joshua Reynolds used portable large camera obscura’s to create accurate details for their paintings. Some people suspect Johannes Vermeer may have also used one for his Dutch Masterpieces.

The camera obscura evolved into the hand held camera’s of today.

There are still some camera obscura’s around the country that you can visit.

You could make your own by darkening a room and creating a small hole for the light to enter (don’t drill a hole in the wall though), projecting the image directly onto a wall.

At first it looks like it could be a mural from Hilda Ogden’s living room (or Muriel as she called it, Coronation Street fans will know this well).

However, watch carefully and you’ll see a living, moving landscape constantly changing in front of you.


Heads up

Written by Martin Lovegrove


Being someone who likes to cut out heads of celebrities and put them on record covers, the work of locations scout Joel Strong really tickled my fancy.

Armed with just his phone and a pocket full of Leonardo Di Caprio cut-outs, Joel creates amusing images featuring the baby-faced actor in every day situations.

Joel has since expanded his range to include other celebrities such as Kanye West (pictured).

Check out his website here, tumblr here and his instagram here.

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