Fantasies of Exhibition Road
Artists and scientists re-imagine Albertopolis
See South Kensington in a whole new light as it is transformed by a selection of artists re-imagining spaces along Exhibition Road in Albertopolis, where the Great Exhibition Road Festival takes place. The artists were inspired by conversations with scientists at Imperial College London on mental health and wellbeing research to create digital dreams of these iconic places.
Ian Davenport: Albertopolis Fantasy
Ian Davenport began a series of fantasy projects on his social media platform as lockdown was introduced in the UK. These were ambitious digital renderings on architectural sites and iconic buildings. Davenport comments: "If we can't physically do them at least we can still dream!"
His digital creation for the Great Exhibition Road Festival's has provoked new thought about the idea of colour as "positive force" and the influence it can have on emotional wellbeing.
Credit: Ian Davenport, 'Fantasy of Albertopolis'
Can Büyükberber: Mati / Be Your Friend
Can Büyükberber's idea was to combine Dr Martina Di Simplicio's research on mood instability with his immersive audiovisual work in order to create an installation that promotes emotional well-being, bringing Dr Di Simplicio's clinical intervention techniques to the public through the use of digital art.
"Because nothing is ever as bad as we believe it is when we are distressed, so how can you make your best friend realize that nothing is ever as bad as it feels, at first."
We recommend playing the video with audio. Read video transcript
Credit: Can Büyükberber, 'Mati / Be Your Friend'
Sadie Clayton: Copper World
Escape the social media world to find enlightenment in this fantasy world...
Stepping into this coppery world allows the viewer to find peace through the healing benefits of copper metal. Copper is a conductor of spirituality and repels negativity, intending to remove all negative energy from the viewers' thoughts.
Credit: Sadie Clayton, 'Copper World'
Ping Mu: Albertopolis Fantasy
Ping Mu reconstructed Exhibition Road in virtual space with two-dimensional lines, stripping all weight, texture, colour and perception. The artist was inspired by the psychotherapy research of Dr. Lindsay Dewa and Dr. Emma Lawrance, which shows the importance of support from families and friends for their patients' mental health.
Above Exhibition Road, weightless people float in mid-air. If they start to fall in the dark, then this emotional support from family and friends will converge into a warm current and gently lift them up, becoming a source of strength for patients.
We recommend playing the video with audio
Credit: Ping Mu, 'Fantasy of Albertopolis'
Space Popular: Albertopolis Fantasy
Space Popular have created a portal in the middle of Exhibition Road. The artists explore the virtual versus reality, the borders between personal and public. Our blurred reality.
This artwork is stemming from the conversation had with Dr Lindsay Dewa, whose research focused on technology and understanding its impact on mental health, especially in young people.
Credit: Space Popular, 'Fantasy of Albertopolis'
Squidsoup: turbulent flow
Turbulent flow is inspired by the idea that trails of our presence are left as we move through space and place, that our presence continues to echo and refract after we have passed.
Squidsoup show how traces of thought weave through Exhibition Road visualised as turbulent ribbons of light and sound, as a representation of thought sliding from coherence to agitated and chaotic activity.
Credit: Squidsoup, 'turbulent flow'
Remi Rough: Grid
Dr Laila Ait Bihi Ouali, who measures how the design of the built environment and transport systems can affect wellbeing, shared transportation maps data collected before and during lockdown with artist Remi Rough, which inspired his fantasy.
“The artwork is based upon Dr Laila’s research graphs of population usage of public transport. The idea being that we, now more than ever, are in dire need of art and visual stimulation upon our daily commutes.” – comments Remi.
Credit: Remi Rough, 'Grid'