Tom Szirtes & Iain Nicholls

United Kingdom
Mixed Reality Award
Veil - Abandoned Gallery

Veil is an innovative art installation that uses virtual reality (VR) technologies to transport visitors into an alternate reality where they can experience art in new and extraordinary ways; in the process subverting the gallery experience. Each installation of Veil is site specific and as such has to be experienced in the context of a gallery or exhibition space. The piece explores the concepts of recursion, alternate realities and space referencing the works of Diego Velazquez, Casper David Fredrick, Hans Holbein and early pioneers of film.

The installation centres round a custom plinth on which sits a humble model house made of cardboard. A virtual reality headset is attached to the plinth that the visitor is invited to wear. Whilst wearing the headset they find themselves back in the familiar exhibition space with the plinth and house exactly where they are in the physical world. However in this reality things are subtly different and the model house begins to change and take on special properties. Through the act of examining the participant can pass between the models interior and exterior. The interiors are worlds in themselves with surreal semi-narrative sequences that the participant can interact with.

Tom Szirtes & Iain Nicholls: Veil
Tom Szirtes & Iain Nicholls: Veil
Tom Szirtes & Iain Nicholls: Veil

Hardware and Software Used:

Iain Nicholls: I used Blender for the 3D modelling, all my textures were hand painted, house made of cardboard and then I used Photoshop for editing. Tom Szirtes: All software is created using Unity and we made all the codes. Hardware is i5 PC, GTX 970 + web cam + Oculus Rift + bespoke digital handle.

Veil @ The Barbican