Muir is a proud Indigenous artist with a broad contemporary visual language; his vivid, geometric and playful aesthetic draws references to images from pop culture and street art.
Bendigo Art Gallery engaged Art Processors to create a visitor experience that would encourage more people—particularly younger audiences—to engage with Muir’s artwork and his key themes of mental health and connection to Country.
We explored how we could use augmented reality to take viewers on a journey through Muir’s mind, enabling a deeper exploration of his themes and artistic process.
Working with Muir’s artworks and Knowles’s animations, we created a digital experience that allowed visitors to interact with the artworks virtually. We mixed and produced original music to link the rawness of Muir’s narration to his slick artworks. Soundscapes that supported the experience featured environmental sound design that references Country, creating an immersive, memorable experience.
We designed the AR and soundscape elements alongside Muir and Knowles as they developed their own creative direction for the exhibition. This made the immersive experience an integral part of telling Muir’s personal stories.
It has been a pleasure to work with the team at Art Processors. They were culturally sensitive throughout the exhibition development and really captured the essence of Josh’s narrative.
– Shonae Hobson,
First Nations Curator, Bendigo Art Gallery
AR, soundscape, music and narration were created alongside the final works for the exhibition, making the technology truly integral to the exhibition—the immersive experience reveals hidden subtext to the works and grows the visitor’s engagement with the exhibition.
The final eight-piece exhibition combined audio, animation and graphic design, taking the viewer on an augmented reality journey through the artist’s mind. When visitors held an iPad up to an artwork, the Muir’s work became animated, transitioning into AR images of Country integrated with narration, music and nature sounds. The immersive experience allowed visitors to view the works in a more culturally engaged and dynamic way.
What’s on your mind? is very modern take on First Nations art, but at its core was the same storytelling tradition. The successful collaboration enabled the Gallery to broaden its audience engagement with First Nations art and culture by providing a fun and interactive environment for learning.