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Monday 6 June 2016

Virtual Reality: The Future of Art?

Even more people will be able to experience art when a new mobile phone app for Southampton Solent University’s Solent Showcase Gallery is completed later this year.

The app, currently being developed for Android phones, is the result of a project between software engineering students from The Hague University of Applied Sciences and MA visual design students from Southampton Solent University. It is part of TNCE (Trans-National Creative Exchange), a Creative Europe Project lead by Solent’s School of Art, Design and Fashion.

 The students are exploring digital visual design solutions and how the latest mobile app technology can be used to enhance creative events.

“Through using the latest NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, the students are developing an innovative mobile phone application for Solent Showcase Gallery,” says Joe Ross, Project and Communication Officer at Southampton Solent University.

“Visitors to the gallery will be able to download the app and view the associated artist information and art works digitally. The app will also address solutions to touring a virtual exhibition where space and cost is a factor to reaching wider audiences.”

Students working on the project

Anneke Wieman, from The Hague University of Applied Sciences, adds: “The students in Southampton complete the design part and the students in The Hague the technical part of the app. It is not always easy to collaborate at distance, but they learn a lot. This interdisciplinary and intercultural experience is a real asset for their future career.”

Once finished, the app will be launched at The International Summer Residency Exhibition at Solent Showcase Gallery in September, where graduates from China, The Netherlands, France and Ireland will join students from Southampton Solent School of Art, Design and Fashion to develop and exhibit new work.

The exhibition will then tour to Ireland, The Netherlands, China and France. The app will enable new audiences to be reached outside the traditional gallery environment, and improve access to creative works on an international platform.

“The interdisciplinary and intercultural nature of this activity ensures that students look at their work from different perspectives and it broadens their horizons,” adds Joe.

“They will get the necessary knowledge and experience to prepare them for an international career.”

The Trans-National Creative Exchange (TNCE) is a two-year project that supports emerging talent from Europe and China, and was launched by Solent’s School of Art, Design and Fashion in October 2015. You can read more about the project here.