Alupanel Ultrawhite aluminium composite was recently used to help transport photography exhibition visitors back in time during acclaimed British artist Mat Collishaw’s recent exhibition at London’s Somerset House. Using the latest Virtual Reality (VR) technology, Collishaw restages one of the earliest exhibitions of photography in 1839, when British scientist William Henry Fox Talbot first presented his photographic prints to the public at King Edward's School, Birmingham.
While its digital white surface is usually in demand as a substrate for direct printing, Alupanels ultrawhite surface was this time required due to its stark white appearance and aesthetic feel needed for visitors to interact with the VR technology.
The experience was a fully immersive portal to the past; people were able to walk freely throughout a digitally reconstructed room, and touch the bespoke aluminium composite vitrines, fixtures and mouldings; even the heat from a coal fire was recreated. A soundscape for Thresholds included the sound of demonstrations of the Chartist protesters who rioted in 1839 on the streets of Birmingham, and could be glimpsed through the digital windows.
Thresholds not only restages an important historical exhibition but provides a way to view images that have since been lost.
The Somerset House exhibition closed on 11th June and the exhibition will now tour to Birmingham, the city where the original exhibition took place. From the Waterhall at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, it then travels to National Trust property Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire, Fox Talbot’s former home and The National Media Museum, Bradford, which holds original photographs and objects from Fox Talbot’s career.
For more information about Mat Collishaw’s work visit www.matcollishaw.com
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