Virtual legacy for Great North Museum: Hancock special exhibitions
01 October 2020
"This technology provides an engaging and accessible way for us to connect more people to these exhibitions and the wonderful artefacts, artworks and stories they contain..."
Two temporary exhibitions at Newcastle University’s Great North Museum: Hancock can now be experienced from the comfort of your home thanks to newly launched virtual reality tours.
A British Museum touring exhibition Ancient Iraq: new discoveries and Other Worlds: The Art of Atomhawk are set to close to in-person visitors on Sunday 1 November.
The exhibitions opened on 7 March and were originally planned to run until 2 August. Unfortunately, the Museum closed soon after on 18 March. Despite a two-month extension from 1 September – 1 November, 76 days were lost to coronavirus restrictions.
This led the Great North Museum to team up with specialist camera operator Chris Taber of Pedestal TV to capture the shows in 3D for audiences to enjoy long into the future.
The new online exhibitions are compatible with smart phones as well as virtual reality headsets and feature added video interviews with curators and artists.
Adam Goldwater, Learning, Engagement & Research Manager at the Great North Museum: Hancock, said:
“This technology provides an engaging and accessible way for us to connect more people to these exhibitions and the wonderful artefacts, artworks and stories they contain.
“It wasn’t our original plan, but to have the exhibitions running in parallel at the Great North Museum and online is quite a rare thing and we’re very pleased with how it’s turned out.
“We would encourage anyone who can visit the exhibitions in person by 1 November to do so. We’ve made a number of changes throughout the Museum to keep everyone safe. For those who can’t make it, these virtual tours are the next best thing and they are available indefinitely on our website.”
A British Museum touring exhibition Ancient Iraq: new discoveries explores the cultural legacy of Iraq through 80 remarkable objects and seeks to highlight the challenges of protecting Iraq’s rich and diverse heritage following decades of conflict.
One of the star pieces is a 4,000-year-old dolerite statue of the Sumerian king Gudea, on show outside London for the first time. Visitors also learn how the ancient Iraqi people gave the world its first cities and first writing system, cuneiform. This exhibition is supported by the Dorset Foundation.
Other Worlds: The Art of Atomhawk provides an insight into the creative process of the digital artist, charting the journey from inspiration and ideas to world building and realising finished concepts.
The exhibition features scores of digital illustrations depicting ideas for characters, environments, props and vehicles for video games and films. In addition, rare items in the Great North Museum collection – including ornate Indian daggers, Japanese Samurai armour and Chinese jewellery – sit alongside the new concept artworks they have inspired.
The Great North Museum: Hancock is open daily with new safety measures in place including one-way routes and increased cleaning. Visitors are requested to book a time slot in advance via greatnorthmuseum.org.uk.
A British Museum touring exhibition Ancient Iraq: new discoveries and Other Worlds: The Art of Atomhawk are open for in-person visits until 1 November.
The virtual versions of both shows can be experienced now via greatnorthmuseum.org.uk/visit-us/virtual-tours.
Please contact Jonathan.Loach@twmuseums.org.uk