Steve Messam

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Date: 2014

Client: Windermere Reflections

Location: Dunmail Raise, Grasmere, Cumbria. UK

Dimensions: 3m x 3m x 1.8m

Materials: acrylic balls

Further Info: Reflective Moments Leaflet


Dunmail Raise Pillbox is a concrete type F/W24 gun post. Built in 1941 in anticipation of a German invasion, this box was built with strategic views of the Dunmail pass. Initially built in their thousands only a few hundred examples remain today. From a historical angle this represents a strategic viewing platform built on a site with maximum sightlines dow the Windermere catchment. This position lies a few hundred yards from the Windermere watershed and the source of the Rothay and marks the starting point for our journey of viewing the landscape.

The pillbox is clad with 2,000 reflective balls on every exterior surface. From a distance this catches the light and reveals the structure and its location in the landscape. On closer inspection the balls take on an effect similar to an insect’s eye - fragmenting and repeating the reflected view. As perfect spheres the viewer is reflected in every unit - there is no way to escape being in the reflection.

Within two of the windows are lenses which will project the view onto the interior walls, creating a camera-obscura of the view over Windermere.