One photographer has turned a shipping container into a huge camera, complete with a built-in darkroom. The creation is capable of producing large, traditional analog prints.
Brendan Barry, the same photographer responsible for turning everyday items (including fruit) into functioning cameras, has returned with this new project. Basing the shipping container in Northernhay Gardens, in Exeter, Devon, close to his home, Barry spent three weeks creating various images that he is now displaying to the public.
Painting the exterior the resemble a Polaroid camera, he made sure the container was wheelchair accessible, fully ventilated, solar powered, and capable of welcoming large groups of all ages and abilities. What’s more, it has a built-in print-washing system, lens movements, and most exciting of all, a working mechanical shutter.
It is basically the world’s biggest, slowest, and most impractical Polaroid camera.
A photography teacher at the UK’s Exeter School of Art, Barry’s intention was to “reach out to a diverse range of people and invite them to make portraits of the community, by the community.” People from local charities, community groups, and education centers were included in workshops he ran from the container. This even extended to being open to any passing member of the public interested in experiencing traditional image-making processes.
[We wanted to] create a series of images that collectively touched on themes of inclusion and collaboration, celebrated diversity, promoted acceptance, and inspired engagement and participation in the arts.
The project was Arts Council England funded and made possible with support from a variety of local and national partners including Exeter Phoenix, The Royal Albert Memorial Museum, The Photographers Gallery, and Exeter School of Art.
Check out the video to see a step-by-step of how Barry brought his shipping container camera to life.
All images Brendan Barry and used with permission.