Local Obscura

Local Obscura is about celebrating those unique qualities of places in Derby, its communities and  and the different ways of looking at them. As part of the Surprising City principles set out in the Council's Public Art Strategy this page provides a platform for creative contributions from anyone to share their curious discoveries about places in Derby with the rest of the world.

Derby is; "Surprising, Green, Innovation, River, Heritage" as described in the Public Art Strategy.


Anyone from anywhere can add to Local Obscura so that we can understand more about our strange and amazing places and the different ways of seeing them. We are interested in the most creative, unusual, and unique photos, videos and sounds as well as words but these can also be very simple...


The Morledge Derby, musician unknown

Building the picture

Local Obscura can help build a picture of the local creative community and their place that will inform public art projects and public realm improvemments.

Alvaston District Centre

Alvaston District Centre

Wildlife Sanctuary Pride Park

Wildlife Sanctuary Pride Park

Contribute to Local Obscura

Add to Local Obscura by signing up below

Obscurites can be added by anyone, but all contributions to Local Obscura are reviewed by our Editorial Team. Specific projects to contribute to are also available on 'What's Your Journey?' and 'ARTiculate".

Get started by creating an Local Obscura profile. First, click the “SIGN IN” link at upper right and then click "SIGN UP". After signing up, don't forget to add a profile photo and tell us about yourself.

To add an obscurity, first search to double-check that your place has not already been added. If it has and you have more to add, simply click "EditObscurity".

To add a new obscurity, just click here or any of the "Add Obscurity" links throughout the site.

Get started by looking for:

  • Secret histories (ordinary seeming places with crazy back stories)
  • Amazing people and their place
  • Art and Buildings inside, outside, temporary or permanent
  • New and emerging spaces
  • Derelict and abandoned spaces and scary stories and local mysteries

Media guidelines?

All photos submitted to LO must be legally available to use, either as your own work, in the public domain, shared under Creative Commons, or used with permission of the author. We prefer you to explore your local place but if you are pulling from an on-line resource, please credit the photographer and link to the page where it can be found.

What makes a good 'Obscura' photo:

Horizontal orientation
At least 600 pixels x 400 pixels, though bigger is always better
No watermarks or visual accreditation

If you have any further questions regarding images, contact us at info@publicartderby.gov.uk

I've added a place and it hasn't appeared on the site! What's up?

There are a number of reasons why a submitted place may not have been published. The most common is simply that we haven't gotten to it yet. Thanks to our devoted contributors, we sometimes receive more entries than we can quickly edit!

We also occasionally receive place contributions that are not suitable for the site. Reasons include:

  • Duplicate or unverifiable entries 
  • Places that are fictional or no longer exist
  • Places that are too broad
  • Places that are ads for a business

The more detailed and complete your entry, the more likely it'll be published

Also, places with at least one good image will almost always take precedence. If you have any questions regarding the status of your obscurity email us at info@publicartderby.gov.uk and we'll be happy to look into it.

I submitted my photos, but they were not used. What gives?

Common reasons for a photo not being used include:

  • The photo is too blurry
  • The photo featured too many people
  • The photo is too small
  • The photo is not of the correct location
  • We cannot find the copyright information
  • We do not have the rights to use the image
  • The photo included a watermark or visual accreditation
  • The existing photo set was adequate

Again, we are always happy to discuss any questions you have, so feel to email us at info@publicartderby.gov.uk

info@publicartderby.go.uk. Is anyone even reading my email?

Yes! Each and every email is read.