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Ballarat hidden stories through augmented reality

The City of Ballarat has joined forces with six artists to create an immersive art experience for people walking around our creative city this winter.

The inaugural Activated ArtWalk – a Ballarat Winter Festival event – sees art brought to life through augmented reality.

Ballarat Mayor Samantha McIntosh said emerging art with technology this Ballarat Winter Festival was about giving visitors extra reason to discover our city, and to celebrate it as a living canvas.

“Our beautiful heritage city is made for winter, and the Activated ArtWalk gives visitors the chance to see our streets, laneways and buildings in a whole new way,” she said.

“It’s about encouraging us to look at the stories beneath the surface of our city and of the people who lived here.

“So rug up, get your phone ready and start exploring our city this Ballarat Winter Festival.”

The Activated ArtWalk is presented free by the City of Ballarat and was officially launched on the first day of the Ballarat Winter Festival, Saturday 29 June.

Cr McIntosh said the artwalk is the first example of the City of Ballarat’s Creative City Strategy in action.

“What we’ve done is embed creative thinking and skills into this year’s Ballarat Winter Festival by engaging local creatives and providing them an opportunity to experience, develop and advance their skills in augmented reality,” she said.

The artists are:
Queen Alexandra Bandstand: Demi Gerardi
Demi Gerardi is an emerging illustrator and photographer who is currently studying graphic design and working as an intern with the Ballarat Tech School. Her whimsical designs are a humorous reflection on our society.
Demi’s ArtWalk contribution is an animated collage of contemporary and historical images of music and dance footage from a series of 1940s short films.

McKenzie Street: Cax One
Cax One’s art practice was born out of the notorious and often misunderstood graffti subculture. Cax One is an artist, illustrator, designer, animator and typographer from Ballarat. Her ArtWalk contribution looks at the mischievous past of McKenzie Street.

Police Lane: Samantha Thompson
Samantha Thompsons’ visual art practice is inspired by family history and storytelling, exploring feminist themes through textiles and printmaking. Living in semi-rural Victoria, Samantha also works with the community by engaging audiences through art projects. Samantha’s ArtWalk piece is a reminder of the lives lost during the gold rush and their last horse-drawn journey down Police Lane to the morgue.

Titanic Memorial Bandstand: Dillon Naylor
Dillon Naylor works across the fields of book illustration and design with a special talent for comics and lecturing in various schools and colleges. Dillon’s work has been featured in Mad Magazine, Sydney Morning Herald, K-Zone and Total Girl.
Dillon’s ArtWalk piece is a tribute to the band that continued to play as the Titanic sank.

Grenville Street: Pauline O’Shannessy Dowling
Pauline O’Shannessy-Dowling is a visual artist whose drawings explore colour as an evocative medium to communicate her whimsical visions. With a keen interest in heritage, Pauline has recently completed an artist in residency with the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute. Her ArtWalk contribution looks at how the Yarrowee River looked prior to European settlement.

Town Hall Lane: Margie Balazic
Margie Balazic’s art practice embodies both independent and collaborative processes across varying disciplines including installation, textile design, fabrication, illustration, animation and sculpture. With a passion to inspire and stimulate creative minds, Margie uses memory and research into Ballarat’s past as an inspiration to develop conversation. Her ArtWalk contribution uncovers the chaos of the 1859 fire at the Town Hall.

Artwork can be activated by picking up a copy of the Activated ArtWalk map at the Ballarat Town Hall, or view it online at ballaratwinterfestival.com

Follow the map to discover the six hidden artworks, then bring them to life using your smartphone and the EyeJack app.

All you need to do is download the EyeJack app on your smartphone and select the Ballarat Activated ArtWalk tab.

When you arrive at each artwork, look for the stickers on the pavement and follow the instructions to launch the animation and discover the hidden stories of our city.