Artist Jacki Clark painting in Google Tilt Brush. All rights reserved to © 2019 Joni Sommerville.

Creatives from across Manchester got the chance to experiment with AR(augmented reality)/VR(virtual reality) technology at a free taster session in MediaCityUk.

The masterclass, organised by Walk the Plank as part of its ELEVATE programme in partnership with Manchester City Council, and supported by Arts Council England, took place at 6pm last night at The Landing building.

Introducing the technology to the creatives was Dr Jessica Symons, an anthropologist and digital consultant of Visioning Lab.

Dr Symons said: “I’m interested in the new technologies, idea development and creative processes.”

“…Many artists who really have only worked in the plastic things of drawing and painting and sculpting, working with clay when actually some of the tools that have been created in virtual reality lend themselves really well to that kind of making. So I wanted to make it possible for artists and makers who maybe haven’t been introduced to making in virtual reality to the tools. And to do that by introducing them to people who come from the same field as them…”

The masterclass awaits- the creatives exchange ideas and expectations. All rights reserved to © 2019 Joni Sommerville.
The masterclass awaits- the creatives exchange ideas and expectations. All rights reserved to © 2019 Joni Sommerville.

Virtual reality artists Jacki Clark and Sumit Sarkar demonstrated how VR can be used for painting and sculpting.

Ben Ark, a mixed media artist, based in Salford came along to the session because he believes artwork should be “as immersive as possible” and sees virtual reality as the next step. Mr Ark thinks that virtual reality could provide a “portal” into Salford. He says that “there’s so many different areas and so many different spaces” within Salford “that visually there is so much to shout about and maybe this is the route to go down”.

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Artist Ben Ark tries out the VR technology. All rights reserved to © 2019 Joni Sommerville
Artist Ben Ark tries out the VR technology. All rights reserved to © 2019 Joni Sommerville

Some of LS Lowry’s  work has been reimagined in AR, the pieces will be available to view in a few weeks time at the Lightwaves festival in Salford Quays.

The session is part of a series of masterclasses “designed for North West artists and creatives, especially those interested in outdoor arts practice and new technologies” (Walk the plank). A second workshop is going to take place on Monday 18th November with 8 places available.

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