Last week Onin.London attended the launch of the new Augmented Gallery where actor, comedian and presenter Stephen Mangan unveiled the art gallery of the future, as some of the West End’s leading institutions unite to display their masterpieces outdoors through the lens of augmented reality.
What is Augmented reality?
Its an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that appear in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated technology. Augmented reality might not be words you’re familiar with, but maybe ’Pokemon Go’ will familiarise you with its concept.
What can I expect?
The Augmented Gallery is a mile long (free to enjoy) public art trail which begins at The National Gallery and ends at Fortnum & Mason. All you will need to view this experience is the app, which can be accessed on all smartphone devices through the centralised app, available for iOS HERE and on Android HERE (or by searching ‘Art of London’ on your usual app store) It sounds a mouthful, but it’s easy to find and download. For those of you who don’t own a smartphone though, fear not! This tour still includes you, all you’ll need is a friend/relative who has a smart device!
The trail features insightful and entertaining audio commentaries on each classic painting, which includes curators from each of the galleries, along with a lighter touch from comedian and art lover James Acaster.
The West End has so much to offer but it has been hit hard by the pandemic. So the brains behind this virtual experience have had to think of a socially distanced, yet interactive way to make art galleries and museums more accessible to the public, safely and responsibly.
Director of the National Gallery Dr Gabriele Finaldi says “We are delighted to be taking part in The Augmented Gallery, as it gives us the chance to showcase some of the Nation’s favourite paintings out in the open for everyone to enjoy. By bringing a series of masterpieces to the West End through the lens of augmented reality, visitors to the area can enjoy a taste of the treasures we have inside the National Gallery. And of course, everyone is welcome to book their free tickets into the Gallery – just a few steps away – to experience the real paintings from when we, hopefully, are able to reopen our doors from 18 May.”
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Written by Chloe Louise