And finally… Dundee’s Royal Arch among lost monuments to be brought back to life



TriumphalArchimageArtists from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design have used the latest technology to bring Dundee’s much-missed Royal Arch back to life for this year’s NEoN Digital Arts festival.

Dr Alice Watterson and Dr Kieran Baxter combined their archaeological and animation skills to recreate the Arch in digital form. The meticulously reconstructed models can be viewed on the site of the original Arch at Slessor Gardens by anyone who downloads the Zappar app on their mobile device and then scans the engravings in the paving slabs marking the original footprints of the Arch.

NEoN Digital Art Festival, with support from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund, will showcase the work of artists working at the forefront of digital media. More than 25 exhibitions, events, performances, screenings and talks around the theme of Media Archaeology will be open to the public at spaces across Dundee from 7-12 November.

A number of NEoN’s projects use digital reconstruction techniques that present artists and archaeologists with engaging and dynamic methods for storytelling, visualisation and research. World expert in this area, Professor Sarah Kenderdine, will speak about this at the NEoN symposium on Friday 10 November, alongside Dr Watterson.

The magnificent Royal Arch was built to commemorate an 1844 visit to the city by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The Arch was demolished in 1964, as part of land reclamation work required for the construction of the Tay Road Bridge.

Drs Watterson and Baxter accessed images of the Arch from the archives of DC Thomson, the University of Dundee Archives, and Dundee City Council and used photogrammetry, LIDAR scanning and digital animation to produce the augmented reality installation, which will be available to view from today as part of NEoN.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to explore Dundee’s lost architecture through augmented reality,” said University of Dundee Research Fellow Dr Sarah Cook, co-curator of the NEoN programme.

“Alice Watterson is an archaeologist specialising in illustration and digital survey and she is currently exploring the use of digital reconstruction as an interpretive tool, focusing on blending digital data with creative practice to generate original interpretative content.

“Kieran Baxter is a creative practitioner specialising in web design, aerial photography and visualisation. Together, they have created digital assets that bring to life four moments in the history of the Arch, including its recreation in cardboard last summer!”

“In the NEoN exhibition we also have work by artist Moreshin Allahyari, who has created 3D printed objects based on reconstructions of 12 statues from the Roman period city of Hatra and Assyrian artefacts from Nineveh, destroyed by ISIS in 2015. Visitors can also try out a virtual-reality installation recreating a work by the late video artist David Hall, a pioneer in the field of media art, created by DJCAD alumna Rhoda Ellis and DJCAD media archivist Adam Lockhart.”

More information is available at www.northeastofnorth.com.

The ZAPPAR app is available for free from the App Store or Google Play Store.