Realising the capacity for VR
Virtual Reality could be the first medium to become aware of our emotional selves. When people think of VR they may think of isolation, however VR can be a space for connection, connection to our emotional selves.How can we make use of Virtual Reality environments to improve our well-being and become purposeful spaces that serve our health? Virtual Reality therapy has been developing since the 1980s to successfully treat PTSD however access to this technology has been quite limited until now. Technology is a tool; how we choose to design and use it will influence how we live our lives.
“Upstarters VR”, is a virtual reality art collaboration between the members of the Upstart programme at the Customs House Studios and myself. It is a 2 year project and this year was phase 1. The intention behind this project was to bring the Upstart artist’s artworks into a new and immersive medium. The theme of the project is well-being and through workshops and sound therapy experiences, we were able to give these artists the inspiration to create a Virtual world made up of their unique artistic expression. Their art becomes the building blocks for their virtual world, the symbols in the sky, the terrain we walk upon and the texture of the leaves on the trees.
By projecting their art into an immersive 3D environment, we were able to create a novel sense of presence with their art that became a reflection back onto themselves and gives others a chance to connect to their expression in a new and exciting way, becoming a transcending experience for both the artists and the audience of their work. This is a project of inclusivity and offers the opportunity to merge traditional forms of art with emerging technologies.
The Upstarters Virtual Reality experience was developed to bring the artworks of these artists with disabilities into a tranformational platform, a living space that gives their expression a new dimension and the viewer’s experience of their expression, an opportunity for deeper understanding.
“The portal of healing and creativity, always takes us into the realm of the spirit.”