A new project that examines and explores the potential of wartime buildings to provide a unique perspective on the English landscape through the transformation of the structures themselves into cameras, forms a new exhibition in TheGallery at The Arts University Bournemouth from the 9th March – 20th April 2012.

Sentinel (South) is a text + work collaboration between artist Martin Newth, for whom this research has been ongoing for several years, and writer Pippa Oldfield. Within Britain there are thousands of small military defensive structures commonly known as ‘pillboxes’. Built during the Second World War these simple concrete and brick buildings were designed as look out points in anticipation of an enemy invasion that never happened. The project and exhibition includes distinct phases with overlapping photographic methods. There is a series of photographs of pillboxes; prints made by transforming the buildings into camera obscuras; and multi-screen video installations where the intended position of the soldiers’ guns have been replaced by cameras to create moving panoramas of the views that the buildings survey.

Martin Newth is an artist, lecturer and Programme Director for Fine Art at Chelsea Collage of Art & Design. He studied at the AUB before going on to Newcastle University and the Slade School of Art. His work is primarily photographic and might broadly be described as experimental. He employs numerous processes including very long exposures and purpose built camera obscuras. Newth has exhibited nationally and internationally including solo and group exhibitions at: George and Jørgen, London; Axel Lapp Projects, Berlin; Focal Point Gallery, Southend; Ffotogallery, Cardiff; Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool; the Kunstverein Konstanz, Germany; and most recently, the V&A Museum of Childhood, London.

Pippa Oldfield is a writer, curator, Head of Programme at Impressions Gallery, Bradford and a Doctoral Fellow at Durham University. Her essay, ‘Sentinels of War: The Pillbox as Camera Obscura’ highlights aspects of the project relating to the use of pillboxes as cameras and the project’s status as part of the ongoing canon of war photography.

Sentinel (South) has a local Dorset connection, as the film installation ‘Redend Point’ that forms part of the exhibition was made at Redend Point in Studland Bay, Dorset. There will also be selected artwork from the exhibition displayed in Westbeach at Pier Approach for the exhibition’s duration. Please visit www.west-beach.co.uk for directions.

For more details on the exhibition which opens on Friday 9th March, including opening times, please visit TheGallery page.