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V&A’s First VR Event Will Take Audiences Into Wonderland

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) has dabbled with immersive technology in the past having previously helped with the ‘David Bowie Is’ digital recreation but its latest exhibition goes a stage further. Today, the V&A in collaboration with HTC Vive Arts and Preloaded, has announced its first virtual reality (VR) event will be taking place in October ahead of the anticipated Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser exhibition in 2021.

Alice: Curiouser

Audiences around the globe will be able to step into wonderful world of Wonderland with a free preview event taking place at 2pm GMT/9pm CST on 22nd October. The live event will be accessible with or without a VR headset, either through VR platform Engage or via the V&A’s Youtube channel.

The interactive journey will last over 45 minutes featuring a bespoke environment inspired by the V&A museum in combination with the surreal aesthetics of Wonderland. The aim is to give participants a taste of the forthcoming exhibition which will have five sections exploring the history and evolution of Alice in Wonderland.

Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser reflects the global impact and legacy of the Alice books across creative disciplines. Since their creation the Alice books, with their mind-blowing ideas and concepts, have been a source of inspiration for new technologies from silent film to CGI. It has been an extraordinary adventure to work with HTC VIVE Arts and Preloaded to take our exhibition into a playful new dimension of VR,” said Kate Bailey, Senior Curator of Theatre and Performance at the V&A in a statement.

“Alice’s impossible journey through a fantastical universe becomes possible in this exciting new creative platform. From rabbit holes to mirrors, flamingoes to hedgehogs, wonderland is the perfect world for VR and the V&A is delighted to be pioneering our first ever VR event,” Bailey continued. “We look forward to sharing a preview of the exhibition ahead of welcoming visitors to Alice at the V&A next year.”

Alice: Curiouser

There’s going to be much more than just the preview. Released the same day will be Curious Alice, an experience based on Icelandic artist Kristjana Williams’ specially commissioned illustrations, downloadable via Viveport and other VR platforms.

“The unprecedented circumstances in 2020 have demonstrated how technology can inspire and connect us, and we are proud to support the V&A, and to help further its mission to broaden access to the museum, using bold new models to transform how art and culture is experienced,” adds Victoria Chang, Director of Vive Arts at HTC.

Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser will open at the V&A on 27th March 2021. Attendees will also get to see another VR experience exclusive to the exhibition, A Curious Game of Croquet. Located in the ‘Staging Alice’ section, this particular section explores the various interpretations of Alice on Vive Cosmos headsets. For further updates on the latest exhibitions to use VR, keep reading VRFocus.