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Meet the artists using virtual reality as their canvas

"Enter Through the Headset 2" is the second digital exhibition that the Gazelli Art House has put on. The gallery also runs a digital residency called The five installations in this exhibition don’t use virtual reality uniformly; one barely uses it at all. But the majority are dazzling, surreal scenes from what seems like another planet.

One of the artists, Iain Nicholls, believes that when it comes to virtual reality, video games will one day be eclipsed by art, health and education: “If you see a glacier melt in front of you in real time, that’s going to be better than a book.”

The dawn of new age in art has long since been foretold; but Allen points out that up until quite recently, while “certain parts of the art world were interested - they were also afraid of computers”. That fear seems to have dissipated. Anquetil and Harrop-Griffiths used to be part of a handful of artists in UAL working in VR. Now Anquetil tells me of projects on the island of Jersey, where she’s from, where five artists are selected to be trained in virtual reality modelling and then exhibit their work. Zammagni says that it’s evident that galleries are now, in his words, “taking care of artists who want to explore VR”.

The appetite for virtual reality in the art world is increasing. Anquetil and Harrop Griffith’s previous installationPORTAL_00 will be going on exhibition in Paris, alongside pieces of work by Ai Weiwei and Anish Kapoor. Allen points out that this is just the beginning. “It used to be just guys and games,” she says. “Now virtual reality is good quality and affordable, so let’s make it an art form too.”


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