Augmented Reality

Detail of ‘Circuit’ in AR, Eilis O’Connell

Augmented Reality‘ is an exhibition of work by Eilis O’Connell. Having studied at the Crawford School of Art and Massachusetts School of Art, Eilis has exhibited her work across Europe and the US and has become one of Ireland’s foremost sculptors. In what is Dublin’s first augmented reality exhibition, six of Eilis’s sculptures can be experienced virtually at Wilton Park.

‘Mask’ in AR, Eilis O’Connell

‘Augmented Reality’ was conceived in 2019, preceding the art world’s dependency on digital technologies during the subsequent pandemic. Yet, given its outdoor location and uniquely interactive experience, the exhibition was unknowingly prepared for the restrictions that were set during lockdown.

Detail QR code to generate ‘Circuit’ in AR, Eilish O’Connell

The interactive exhibition in Wilton Park, along Dublin’s Grand Canal, features six of Eilis O’Connell’s sculptures rendered as digital objects which you can experience in real time via the Wilton Park Augmented Reality (WPAR) app on any smart device.

Wilton Park Augmented Reality (WPAR)
Detail of scanning the QR code

The WPAR app on your smart device enables you to experience these six sculptures using AR technology. The app includes a ‘Sculpture Menu’ which details each work individually and also indicates their location in the park. Using the ‘Scan’ feature in the app, you can simply walk up to any of these location and experience a digital model of each sculpture. Using the camera on you smart device, the app generates each work from QR codes placed on the ground.

‘Hang’ in AR, Eilis O’Connell

Although these simulacrum do not capture the true nature of these works, including texture, weight and presence, they do offer the viewer the opportunity to experience a version of the work which otherwise would not be available to them. The AR models of the works simulate scale and lighting and present the work in context to its given location.

‘Air’ in AR, Eilis O’Connell
‘Screen’ in AR, Eilis O’Connell

Five of these simulacrum are derived form a series of work Eilis O’Connell completed in 2018 for Eileen Gray’s modernist villa, ‘E.1027’, in the south of France. These stainless steel sculptures were inspired by details of Eileen’s design, such as screens / room dividers, and are now emulated in augmented reality at Wilton Park, namely ‘Mask’, ‘Hang’, ‘Air’, ‘Screen’ and ‘Totem’.

‘Mask’ in AR, Eilis O’Connell
‘Totem’ in AR, Eilis O’Connell

The remaining sculpture included in the exhibition, ‘Circuit’, is a rendering of an earlier work by Eilis produced in 2008. This large scale curvilinear piece is made of epoxy resin, glass cloth, sand and paint and is the first work indicated in the sculpture trail of the WPAR app.

‘Circuit’ in AR, Eilis O’Connell

‘Augmented Reality’ is running from 27 February 2020 – 01 August 2021 at Wilton Park. The exhibition was put together by the RHA and IPUT Real Estate Dublin.

To see more of Eilis O’Connell’s work please visit her website and Instagram.