“The best VR experience I’ve had so far” – Gallery Ghost impresses on launch

“The best VR experience I’ve had so far” – Gallery Ghost impresses on launch

A huge thank you to everyone who tried out the Gallery Ghost VR art exhibition at our launch event at 68 Middle Street, Brighton last week. We’re delighted by the amount of positive feedback we received. When you’ve had your head buried in VR code for months it’s easy to forget just how compelling the virtual world can be for those experiencing it for the first time.

The range of responses was fascinating. Some people took to the interface naturally and were ‘porting around the VR gallery space in no time, viewing George Underwood’s amazing paintings just as they would in a real gallery. Others found it harder to separate the comparatively ‘large’ VR environment from the more limited physical space they were in, and had to be gently restrained from walking into some very real furniture. At least we know we have the graphic realism nailed.

 

Gallery Ghost’s Andy Baker, painter George Underwood and his daughter, illustrator Mia Underwood at the launch event.

 

We were too busy setting up the VR rig to watch the presentation and talk by our first exhibiting artist, the painter George Underwood, but judging by the gales of laughter coming from the auditorium his anecdotes about making art and music with 70s rock legends including David Bowie, Peter Frampton and Marc Bolan went down a storm. A special thanks to George and the fabulously talented Underwood family for all their help and support, and thanks also to the Brighton Illustrator’s Group, 68 Middle Street and Clearleft.

A final thanks is due to the wonderful Kate Smith, writer and web project manager for the National Museum Director’s Council, who travelled all the way from Yorkshire to give Gallery Ghost a go. Kate told us afterwards that it was ‘the best VR experience I’ve had so far’, so hopefully that means her long journey was worthwhile.

And now, back to work. We have more VR exhibitions to curate. Onward and upward!

 

 

 

 

George Underwood exhibits with Gallery Ghost

George Underwood exhibits with Gallery Ghost

Artist favoured by rock legends Bowie and T. Rex first to use new VR space.

A new virtual reality art gallery will open its doors to the public for the first time in Brighton this month, with an exhibition of work by the iconic British artist George Underwood.

The exhibition, a collaboration between Brighton VR lab Gallery Ghost and Underwood, who made his name painting album covers for rock legends including David Bowie, T. Rex and Procol Harum, is one of the first of its kind and will be seen as a litmus test of how effectively VR can be utilised by artists and curators working in non-digital media.

The exhibition will feature paintings from Underwood’s dreamlike ‘Warriors’ collection, as well as selected portraits of Bowie and other stars. The paintings are displayed in a virtual space designed to replicate the experience of viewing art in a real gallery setting.

“The possibilities are endless. I could feel the future breathing down my neck” – George Underwood

Gallery Ghost worked closely with Underwood to ensure each painting was reproduced as accurately as possible, including details such as texture, tone and lighting.

“Seeing my work displayed in this way for the first time has been amazing, like entering a parallel universe,” said Underwood. “I didn’t know what to expect when I put the VR headset on, but it looked far better than I ever imagined. The gallery is so realistic I almost expected a friend to wonder in and say ‘hey George, how are you doing?’

“This kind of technology will allow art to be enjoyed by more people. You could recreate the National Gallery and show it to someone in Australia. The possibilities are endless, I could feel the future breathing down my neck.”

Artist George Underwood in VR mode

Gallery Ghost co-founder Andy Baker, who led technical development of the project, is optimistic that VR gallery spaces will soon be the norm in the arts and culture sector.

“VR technology has now reached a point where artists and gallery owners can use it to display work created in traditional media and be confident that the virtual environment will do it justice,” he said.

“Bringing art to a wider audience has always been fraught with logistical problems, which are all solved by VR. Geographic location, transport, framing, gallery capacity; all that ceases to be an issue. In a virtual space you can display what you want to whoever you like, anywhere in the world, at any time. The fact that a professional artist of George’s calibre is willing to collaborate on a project of this sort shows how fast things are moving forward.”

 

Tickets for this exhibition have now SOLD OUT. For news about future Gallery Ghost events or to arrange a demo email info@galleryghost.com