Bridgette Ashton’s ‘Ruin Gazer’ platform acts as a pavilion, monument, and meeting place, inviting audiences to compose a ‘picturesque’ vista of ruins on Portland from key vantage points.
‘Ruin Gazer’ addresses ideas surrounding the staged heritage implicit in touristic ruins and will encourage questions around the authenticity of such sites, asking questions about the authentic experience and ways in which we look at and see a place.
Visitors ascend a small staircase into a booth looking out onto the vista of the abandoned Ministry of Defence accommodation block set into the hillside above the Castletown area of Portland . They are then invited to turn away from the picturesque scene and view it through a tinted ‘Claude Glass’ mirror. This optical device, widely used in the 18th century, was intended to help artists produce works of art similar to those of Claude Lorrain.