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Major digital art projection installation coming to Mansfield

Posted onPosted on 17th Jun

A groundbreaking digital art exhibition opens at Mansfield Museum this month, featuring work by an internationally-renowned artist.

The Flight of the Pixels: Digital Migration is a six-week bespoke 3D projection experience, conceived and designed by Nottingham-based artist Barret Hodgson, to breathe life into the museum’s extensive natural history collection.

It opens on Tuesday, 25th June and runs until Saturday, 3rd August.

The installation uses the same technology as the popular immersive Van Gogh exhibitions across the world, but is being made to fit the museum’s gallery space.

Exploring the theme of bird migration from a fresh artistic perspective, visitors will be able to enjoy a  15-minute multi-media ‘video mapping’ experience, which gives a visual idea of the world from how birds perceive it.

The animated projections will be cast on to walls and also, in an artistic first, directly on to previously-unseen specimens from the museum’s extensive bird collection. The experience will include an original soundscape, featuring bird songs.

It is the first time the museum has commissioned an artistic project of this kind and builds on the venue’s aim to share its Victorian and Edwardian bird taxidermy exhibits in contemporary and relevant ways. It is also part of the museum’s efforts to digitalise its collections under obligations set out as an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.

Mansfield-based marketing company Linney will be providing tree-like plinths on which bird specimens in the exhibition will sit.

Sian Booth, cultural services manager at Mansfield District Council, said: “We are so thrilled and excited to be showing work by one of the leading artists for digital art of this kind – here in Mansfield. This exhibition will be visually stunning and an absolute must-see event!

“To bring art of this quality to this district really is a big deal – Barret is in huge demand all over the world.

“This innovative way to share Mansfield’s nationally significant and rare natural history collection is at the cutting edge of museum work for engaging people in collections.”

Barret Hodgson, of Nottingham, studied art at Nottingham Trent University. He uses digital projections and 3D scanning techniques set against original soundscapes to create multi-media installations.

His previous digital creations have been screened on to the side of the Tower of London, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and at Glastonbury Festival.

Explaining the concept behind The Flight of the Pixels: Digital Migration, he said: “Seeing the collection of the birds for the first time at Mansfield, you inevitably see their incredible unique detailing and, of course, their inherent beauty.

“Standing amongst them all, I felt I needed to reflect, somehow, not on what they are now necessarily – objects within a museum – but the magnificence of what they once were: majestic in flight, joyous in song, full of life.

“The main medium of my work is light – I like to work directly with light as a painter does paint. I am fascinated with what light is and our perception and understanding of it.

“During my research for the work, it was incredible to read that most birds have red, green and blue receptors – like ourselves. But they also have receptors to perceive ultraviolent light, as well.

“My imagination began to soar with what this vision could be like for these birds. What gives meaning to them? How do they perceive nature and the landscapes in which they dwell?

“This piece is about the celebration of nature, flight and of all the birds that are inhabiting our world with us.”

More details about the exhibition can be found at