‘Brighter Future’ is the Art of London Season 2022 comprising a series of accessible public art initiatives across London’s West End with an interactive map and augmented reality experiences designed and built by Darabase.
As part of a partnership between Art of London and National Gallery X, up-and-coming artists were asked to come up with ideas to turn the heart of London into their canvas. The goal was to transform the area with a focus on the future, positivity and highly shareable summer art, and to excite the public and drive footfall.
Following an ideas lab session which Darabase took part in, a judging panel including comedian and artist Harry Hill selected artists Sam Williams, Zarah Hussain, Fiona Quadri and Paul Huxley. The chosen artworks are located across the West End including Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Waterloo Place.
Harry Hill is also contributing his own artwork and his theme for ‘Brighter Future’ explores his hand-sculpted aliens, representing his own vision of a brighter future and interplanetary relations. The aliens are brought to life in augmented reality, acting as guides and leading users on an out-of-this-world voyage with audio from Harry himself.
Signage across the area features QR codes which take the user straight through to the map of the artworks and AR experiences.
In addition to the intergalactic guides, Darabase has built an AR gamified interactive experience to complement Sam William’s artwork ‘Catch Me If You Can’. Users can experience a new dimension to the art of Sam Williams by activating virtual realisations of her works, seeing her graphical coloured style burst into 3D interactive motion.
‘Catch Me If You Can’ comprises colourful sculpture in Leicester Square Gardens which draws inspiration from the location’s iconic cinema heritage. Celebrating the act of shared experience, visitors are invited to play together.
Sam Williams’ work draws from her childhood experience growing up in a theme park where her family (and later she) worked. Using play structures, bold graphics and colourful patterns, she dreams up environments that evoke joy and curiosity for audiences old and young.
Brighter Future is live from 9 August until October 2022.
Dominic Collins, CEO of Darabase commented, “This is the second year Darabase has collaborated with the Art of London initiative to bring an extra layer of immersion and innovation to the artworks and centre of London. The creative process has been a pleasure to be a part of and it is great to be able to partner the technical capabilities of AR to the creative invention of the artists yet again.”
Mark Williams, Director at Art of London commented, “We are extremely proud to bring Art of London Season 2022 to life with Brighter Future. It has been exciting working with the artists to channel positivity and bring to life their artwork on the streets around London’s popular West End. Incorporating augmented reality into the experience has really complemented the artwork and meant visitors to the capital can get closer to art than ever before.”