Smart Murals are bringing art to life across the City

21 Feb 2018

An exciting new partnership between Southampton City Art Gallery and Southampton Solent University, supported by the Arts Council England Museum Resilience Fund, is using the latest technology to engage with a new digital audience and broaden access to the Gallery’s collection.


From February 22, DeerDog (2004) by contemporary artist Dan Perfect, is being reproduced as a Smart Mural at different locations around Southampton city centre. Using augmented reality, it is possible to view the artwork through a smartphone; bringing the image to life as a playful animation which tells you more about both artwork and artist.


The project came about as the result of a cross-sector event at Southampton City Art Gallery, focused on developing innovative digital audience engagement projects surrounding the Gallery’s collections. This project could not have been possible without funding from the Arts Council England Museum Resilience Fund. Student representatives from Southampton City College, Winchester School of Art, The University of Southampton and Southampton Solent University have all played their part in developing the project.


Councillor Satvir Kaur, cabinet member for communities, culture and leisure added:
‘This innovative new project provides a fantastic opportunity for city wide engagement and enjoyment of the arts, Smart Murals are helping a younger audience connect with local projects and art in a more accessible and meaningful way’.


Dr Alex Reynolds, Post-Doctoral Researcher at Southampton Solent University is leading the project:
‘This project’s focus is on increasing visibility of Southampton City Art Gallery’s exciting collection for 16-24 year olds, and it has been developed in close consultation with young people to develop an intervention based in the interests of its intended audience’.


DeerDog was chosen from a shortlist of possible images because of its ‘eye-catching’, ‘fun’ and ‘quirky’ aesthetic, which respondents found intriguing and inspiring. Dan Perfect has also been involved in developing the augmented reality content. The original artwork will be displayed at Southampton City Art Gallery, where viewers can get extra animated content and hear from Dan talking about the artwork in his own words.


The DeerDog Smart Murals will be on display in the Spark Building’s atrium at Southampton Solent University, at Southampton City College, in Mettricks Guildhall and at poster sites in the Gallery and Civic Centre forecourts from 22 February – 15th March 2018.

To enjoy these interactive Smart Murals, viewers must download the FREE Musar app which is available for iPhone and Android phones.

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