A year indelibly etched in history- 2020 unraveled revealing the global impact of the pandemic on millions of peoples lives. We knew the ground swell of change was rising up and with urgency. Resonating acutely amongst visual artists across the world in particular, an uncertain future where audiences once gathered, buildings were now left empty. Theatres, pubs, cinemas, museums and galleries echoed with only silence. It seemed this was becoming an extraordinary time and opportunity for visual artists and performers to reinvent themselves to remain viable. Some front-line businesses came into their own last year and continue to grow exponentially meeting the ’new normal’ head on.
It is predominantly the nature of visual and performing artists to work autonomously and often in isolation. An ideal environment for creativity to flow until income streams dry up. The simple freedom of movement suddenly imposed upon us, stopped people everywhere from visiting places. It showed us how acutely vulnerable visual artists were.
As exhibiting photographers, we knew we had to create something for ourselves as we watched the gallery bookings we had secured close their doors indefinitely.
To transition from the traditional On-the-High-Street Gallery to an online gallery presented many new challenges for us. From our early researches of already existing on line galleries, we decided we would create a broader exhibition experience than the passive ‘menu card’ options available. What we found online fell disappointingly short of our expectations . As a consequence, our searches steered us into some ‘blue sky’ ideas that we thought would be possible to translate into a real experience from the passive viewer position in one’s home.
We couldn’t have imagined we’d find ourselves exploring the world of online gaming for Labyrinth Gallery interiors.
The exhibition spaces within Labyrinth Gallery are presented using a powerful graphics tool – WebGL. We instantly saw this technology as the most reliable and versatile platform from which we could provide our audience with an immersive 3D interactive gallery experience. We knew very early on in our researches that the navigational experience must be as smooth and intuitive as possible. The so-called online ‘virtual galleries’ gave us a clear path to aim higher.
A day out at an art gallery for most of us is as much about the building itself as it is the exhibition inside. From this viewpoint within Labyrinth Gallery we devoted our attention to details that visitors to physical galleries come to expect. Given that our audience is static, we are committed to including in the viewer experience additional sensory layers of instrumental music, spoken and written word. Viewers can also find a video room within some of our selected galleries.
Future plans for Labyrinth Gallery include a fully automated guided tour of every exhibition currently showing. We also have adventurous new exhibition spaces being built and recent works by international and local visual artists who are enthusiastic to be a part of Labyrinth Gallery.