Oh oh, story book monsters are on the loose in Bath! Monster hunters needed!
Myths & Monsters is a family-friendly exhibition running at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath, from 27th November 2021 - 27th February 2022. It is a continuation of the Here Be Dragons extravaganza, which broke attendance records for the Victoria Art Gallery in 2017. Myths & Monsters once again links the worlds of literature, art and myth with some of the very best (and worst) you could expect to meet. Star contributors range from Axel Scheffler to Michael Foreman, and from Cressida Cowell to Victoria Topping. A winter full of fright and frolics that make the fun stand up on the back of your neck, this exhibition is guest curated by John and Gill McLay, founders of Bath Children’s Literature Festival.
Myths & Monsters
at Victoria Art Gallery
As part of the wider campaign for Myths & Monsters, we led on the production of an immersive trail across Bath. Our target audience is mainly families and children, as well as nostalgic audiences who may remember the characters from childhood.
The trail aims to immerse the people of Bath in a fun alternate reality. Conceptually, the campaign centred around the idea that story book monsters are on the loose in Bath, having escaped from the pages of literature. Building an AR trail for Myths & Monsters is therefore fitting: unlike VR which ‘cocoons’ users in alternate worlds, AR is more about opening our eyes to the wider possibilities of our own seemingly ordinary world. While having fun with the ability to have recognisable literary monsters and mythological beasts come alive and roam the streets of Bath before our eyes, the use of AR also provides an educational role tied to myth-making: myths are ingrained into our everyday lives, in the stories we tell ourselves and others; a technology like AR is a way of visualising this concept, allowing users to literally see myths as part of the world. This ‘seeing’ of myths through AR is used throughout the immersive trail to also reveal trivia about these characters as they come to life.
The Myths & Monsters immersive trail was designed and produced by Dr Matthew Freeman and Bethany Wakefield.
Our immersive trail begins on the Victoria Art Gallery website, where there is a video of four animated character posters, one for each monster on the trail: The Iron Man, the Gargoyle, the Cellar Dweller, and the Gruffalo.
The aim of the posters is to provide the clues as to the whereabouts of the escaped monsters in Bath, which are lurking in book shop windows around Bath. The posters are designed to convey the idea that the worlds of literary fiction and reality and distorting, glitching between hand-drawn animation style and real-world photography.
Wider promotion for the immersive trail was supported across social media, with the following visuals produced.
The website points people to the location of the monsters in Bath, each lurking in the following shop windows on posters: Roman Baths Book Shop, Waterstones, Topping Book Shop, and the Victoria Art Gallery. When people discover the below posters in shop windows, they scan a QR code with their phone to see the poster come to life.
When scanned, the QR codes trigger the launch of the below AR video content, bringing the posters to life.
Finally, people arrive at the Victoria Art Gallery and are met the with the below AR experience. Upon scanning the final QR code, an Instagram/Facebook experience pops up, revealing some of the best (and worst!) monsters and mythological beasts you could expect to meet. Users are able to swipe between a motley crew of characters, reading famous quotes and learning more about them, before choosing their favourite and posting selfies to social media.
In the news...
Learn more about our Myths & Monsters AR trail by reading The Bath Magazine's interview with Immersive Promotion Design's Dr Matthew Freeman. Click below to read the interview online.