When: 20 July - 27 October 2019
Where: Tauranga Art Gallery
Presented by: Tauranga Art Gallery
Jess Johnson & Simon Ward
Terminus was commissioned by the National Gallery of Australia and the Balnaves Foundation and premiered at the NGA in May 2018.
Terminus is being adapted specifically for Tauranga Art Gallery with the addition of original artwork and large-scale quilts, a collaboration between Jess Johnson and her mother Cynthia Johnson. The centrepiece of the work is five virtual reality artworks housed within bespoke structures situated on a tessellated floor map.
The structures of Terminus are custom-built VR stations. Each station operates as a portal, allowing audiences to experience the realm in virtual reality. The Terminus virtual reality experiences draw their imagery from the world that Jess Johnson has developed in her drawing practice over several years. Video artist Simon Ward translates these drawings into 3D animations and virtual environments using the game engine Unity.
“In the hands of artists, VR technology has the potential to explode into new genres and art forms. As an artist working in VR, I’m really excited by the psychological implications of being able to position an audience directly within my artwork.
I think VR is the most effective conduit from one brain to another that’s ever existed. With VR we are able to transport someone into an entirely new reality of our creation.
It’s relatively easy to seduce someone into accepting a virtual environment as ‘real.’ The experience of VR can be really disorientating, which also allows us to push against people’s accustomed perceptions and comfort levels. By transporting people to strange new realms we can also provoke new emotional and psychological experiences in our audiences. It will be artists who harness the technology and use it in ways we can’t even imagine yet, opening up new modes of storytelling, communication, expression, and exploration.” Jess Johnson