Newcastle Art Gallery goes digital with virtual walk-through

DIGITAL WIZARDRY: A glimpse of how the digital walk-through depicts Newcastle Art Gallery. Picture: Newcastle City Council
DIGITAL WIZARDRY: A glimpse of how the digital walk-through depicts Newcastle Art Gallery. Picture: Newcastle City Council

STATE of the art technology will help take Newcastle Art Gallery digital. 

A virtual version of the gallery has been turned into an interactive, high-definition walk-through that is live online. 

The aim is to educate the community about art and display the gallery’s enviable collection including works by William Dobell, Margaret Olley, John Olsen and Brett Whiteley to a broader audience. 

Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the showcase covered the gallery’s two floors, its forecourt and the outdoor sculpture garden. 

"Newcastle Art Gallery boasts a collection featuring works of art by some of Australia's greatest ever artists," she said.

Cr Nelmes said it could also allow exhibitions to be immortalised after the gallery space shifted to new works. 

"So much effort goes into staging these exhibitions … it would be wonderful if all that effort wasn't lost when the exhibition finished,” she said. 

Inspired by Google’s Street View, the interactive allows users to move through the gallery and view works on display. 

These include current exhibitions Painting Memory: From the Collection and Everything Changes: Tim Maguire 2002-2017.

Cultural director cultural facilities Liz Burcham said visitors could hover over plaques beside the artwork for more about their history, meaning and creators. 

"The technology we're using also allows us to embed videos and other multimedia, or further information to help tell a deeper story about these pieces of art," Ms Burcham said.

"This pilot project is really a test of how we could harness this capability in future. We see a lot of potential for education."

Hunter company Evolv3d Media helped develop the interactive, which is on the gallery’s website. 

"There's a real expectation starting to build with people wanting this kind of experience," Evolv3d Media managing director Jim Grove said.

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