My favorite work of art on the NC Museum of Art hiking trail is this one: Cloud Chamber for the Trees and Sky by British artist Chris Drury. I love visiting this magical little place. Not only does it look like some kind of enchanted fairy home, get this....it's a huge pinhole camera!
There are benches inside - you go in, shut the door, and sit there for a while to let your eyes adjust to the darkness. And then the pinhole in the roof turns the whole place into a camera and inverts an image of the sky onto the walls and floors of the chamber.
Even better....it's different every time you visit it, depending on the time of year, the position of the sun, the density of the leaves in the forest. Sometimes you see the shadows of the clouds, other times the trees. One time, a perfect laser-like beam of light streamed in through the pinhole, and my nephews went wild (it reminded them of Indiana Jones).
The boys entering the Cloud Chamber~
It doesn't look that big, but I can stand up easily inside, and there's room for at least 8 people or so on the benches~
Here it is in winter, without the green weedy stuff growing on the roof~
The artist's website: Land Artist, Working with Nature. He's built cloud chambers all over the world, but mainly in Europe. We are so lucky to have one here in NC!
From his website:
A large preoccupation in my work has been the exploration of what inner and outer nature mean. These cloud chambers are still, silent, meditative and mysterious spaces. They are often built underground, so that in these dark spaces what is outside is brought in and reversed. Clouds drift silently across the floor.