Donald Lawrence is the Principal Investigator of The Camera Obscura Project, based at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia. There he teaches drawing, photography, sculpture and related special topics courses in the Visual Arts BFA program. Lawrence's interest in cameras obscura originated with Dutch-inspired perspective boxes created during his BFA studies at the University of Victoria (1982-1986) and a walk-in, revolving, Panoramic Camera Obscura created at Toronto's York University in 1987 during his MFA studies (1986-1988). More recent projects have seen Lawrence's exploration of cameras obscura take two paths. One of these paths has seen uses of the camera obscura aligned with his interests in the outdoors, the meeting place of urban and wilderness cultures, and his particular interest in sea kayaking. Such projects include the One Eye Folly (2008) and the Kayak/Camera Obscura (a.k.a. Kepler's Klepper, 2011). The other path is represented by such projects as the Tent Camera Obscura (2011) and the Pavilion Camera Obscura (2014). While these latter works do not seek to reproduce historical apparatus they come close to doing so, as a means of gaining an experiential, tactile appreciation of historical cameras obscura and sharing that with others in workshop and public settings.


The Camera Obscura Project brings together an international group of artists and other researchers interested in cameras obscura, related optical phenomenon and the meeting places of: art and science, cultural and wilderness settings, learning and play. With funding from The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada the Project is based at Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, B.C.