The giant pop-up book is designed and created by local artist James Lake. 

Walk-in camera obscura and giant pop-up book part of family fun at the University of Exeter

Children can enjoy exploring a walk-in camera obscura and a giant pop-up book at a free family day at the University of Exeter.

Families can also try printmaking, silk painting, handle local archaeological finds and examine Exeter City Football Club memorabilia at the event, Think...Art, which is being held alongside a new exhibition by South West artists inspired by the University of Exeter’s world-leading research.

The exhibition, The Observatory: perspectives on landscape, society and spirit will run from 11 to 18 June 2017 in the Forum at the University’s Streatham Campus. Paintings, prints, textile work and stained glass reflecting academic work on extrasolar planets, climate change, mental health and refugees, will all be on display at the exhibition.

The family fun day will be held in the Forum on the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus on 17 June 2017. The giant pop-up book is designed and created by local artist James Lake. It is made of cardboard and six feet tall.

During the week of the exhibition, visitors will be able to book special guided walks around the sculpture trail, botanical grounds and beautiful waterways and ponds on the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus. There will also be a guided tour of the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, home to one of the largest collections of material relating to the moving image in Britain, also based on the campus.

On Tuesday 13 June, there will be an event specifically for artists and researchers, called Creative Conversations. At this event academics and artists who have collaborated in the past will share their experiences – how did they find out about each other? How did they work together? What difference did their collaborations make to their research and artistic practices? These are just some of the themes that will be discussed at this event designed to share experiences and identify possible routes for future collaborations.

Artwork in the exhibition includes Inside Out, Elisabeth Dunne’s dramatic machine embroidery and fabric collage, inspired by the Mood Disorders Centre’s desire to improve treatment for depression. The collage portrays mental health, from the mental chaos caused by everyday stress, depression, panic attacks and dementia.

Amy McCarthy’s stained glass figure A World Without is inspired by her grandmother’s journey to the UK as a holocaust survivor and a German Jewish refugee. The artwork is designed to show how recent world politics influences Amy’s identity today. University of Exeter historians carry out research into the holocaust and the treatment of refugees during the 1930s and 1940s.

Lynn Bailey’s monoprint Rooftop Hive I is a piece created in response to the rooftop bees at Exeter’s Princesshay shopping centre and shows how classic bee hives sited in urban spaces are thriving.

Val Wilson, Arts & Events Manager at Exeter City Council, said: “As a judge for the Observatory exhibition and a resident of Exeter it has been really interesting to learn about all the many different types of research taking place at the University and to see these interpreted by such a diverse body of regional artists.”

Mike Shore-Nye, Registrar and Secretary of the University of Exeter, said: “We are really looking forward to families joining us on campus to see the wonderful exhibition and our beautiful grounds. This will be a really fun way to see the work of talented local artists and find out more about our world-class research.”

The Observatory exhibition runs from 10am to 5pm, 11 to 18 June 2017 and Think…Art, the family activity day, will be held on Saturday, 17 June from 11am to 4pm.

More information about the art exhibition and associated events can be found at


Date: 1 June 2017