Deepa Mann-Kler, award-winning artist and Chief Executive of Belfast creative immersive company, Neon, has launched a new app, AR Peace Wall, which aims to enhance the visitor experience at Cupar Way Peace Wall in Belfast. The app is free to use and available to download now on iOs and android.
AR Peace Wall is one of 26 digital arts projects supported through the Creative Industries Seed Fund, a funding programme, worth £363,898, developed by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Future Screens NI, which aims to assist arts organisations, and creative businesses to undertake digital arts projects that contribute to the growth of the creative industries and unlock future income generation.
The AR Peace Wall app, which received £25,000 in funding through the Creative Industries Seed Fund, aims to use the new digital arts content for tourism by enhancing the visitor experience at the Peace Wall, both in person and online, through the discovery of new stories. Once downloaded the app works by pointing your mobile phone at the crane image and at the 5 AR triggers stencilled along Cupar Way.
The app explores peace building in a digital way and tells the story of a little boy on the morning the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. At its heart, this story is an exploration of the different approaches to peace building undertaken and how life found a way to survive heat that was 40 times greater than the heat emitted by the sun. It is a story of hope. AR Peace Wall uses the crane – called ‘Tsuru’ in Japanese – and is the international symbol for peace.
AR Peace Wall is also supported with funding from the Department for Communities and is a collaboration between Neon, Aura Digital, Yellow Design, Centre for Democracy & Peace Building, Peace Culture Village, Frank Lyons & Declan Keeney from Ulster University.
The artist behind AR Peace Wall, Deepa Mann-Kler, said “For me what is really exciting about AR Peace Wall, is that it has the power to reshape the way we remember history in public spaces. AR can democratise public spaces by capturing the collective memory of a space. Since there are no regulations specifying who owns the digital space which is anchored in the real world, AR belongs to everyone at the moment. And AR has many applications across a wide range of fields, one of which is social justice.”
Deepa continued, “AR has the power to add much needed context to public spaces and it can reshape how society perceives and remembers history. Spaces have often been designed to exclude certain voices and narratives. In the past, there was little anyone could do about it without some form of vandalism. With AR technology in our grasp, everyone now has a new and powerful tool in the fight for social justice. AR has the capacity to forge connections, nurture empathy, and promote healing through immersive experiences.”
Matthew Malcolm, Creative Industries Development Officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented, “The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to partner with Future Screens NI in the Creative Industries Seed Fund which so far has enabled 26 arts organisations to create art using digital and immersive technologies. This wonderful new digital app from artist Deepa Mann-Kler demonstrates to power of using digital arts within a social justice context and to enhance the experience of storytelling.”
Matthew continued, “The Creative Industries Seed Fund reflects the Arts Council’s continuing commitment to encouraging innovative practices that cross artform boundaries and build digital capabilities within the Northern Ireland arts sector. We are currently accepting online applications for a second round of the Creative Industries Seed Fund, which will close on 28 February, and I would encourage anyone interested in applying to visit the Arts Council’s website for more information.”
Professor Paul Moore, Director Future Screens NI said, “Supporting Neon in the creation and launch of AR Peace Wall is a natural strategic fit for Future Screens NI. Our priorities include the delivery of expert technical skills, opportunity and growth across immersive technologies and industries in Northern Ireland. We see enormous tourism, creative, education and economic potential in site specific augmented storytelling. The international partnership with Hiroshima only made this AR experience more compelling.”
To download the AV Peace Wall app visit
- iOS App Store https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/ar-peace-wall/id1564667181
- Android Google Play https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.YellowDesign.Tsuru&hl=en_US&gl=GB
A second round of the Creative Industries Seed Fund is now open for online applications and will close at 12noon on Monday 28th February for grants up to a maximum of £25,000. For information on the webinar, eligibility, guidance notes and to apply visit http://artscouncil-ni.org/funding/scheme/creative-industries-seed-fund-2022. Please note guidance notes are also available on request in large print format and disk.
About Deepa Mann-Kler
Deepa Mann-Kler is Chief Executive of Neon; Visiting Professor in Immersive Futures at Ulster University in Northern Ireland; an artist and an exceptionally experienced public, private and charity sector Chair and Non-Executive Director, having served on 10 Boards across the UK over the past fourteen years. Neon harnesses the power of immersive technologies to create authentic augmented and virtual reality narrative driven experiences. This year the company launched AR Peace Wall and AR Street Art apps freely available on iOS and Play Store. As a TEDx speaker and thought leader she regularly keynotes on the intersection of digital transformation, technical innovation, inclusion, ethics, bias, data, AI and creativity. An award winning, internationally acclaimed, multi-disciplinary artist with over fourteen years’ experience of international exhibitions and public art programmes. Company awards include Royal Television Society Finalist “Interactive Entertainment” 2017. WinTech Series Finalist “Tech Start Up Of the Year” 2018. TEDx Speaker “Being Human” 2019. Digital DNA Finalist “Tech For Good” Talking Sense AR App 2020.
About the Arts Council of Northern Ireland
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is the lead funding and development agency for the Arts providing support to arts projects throughout the region, through its Treasury and The National Lottery funds. Our funding enables artists and arts organisations to increase access to the arts across society and deliver great art that is within everyone’s reach.
Since The National Lottery’s first draw took place on 19 November 1994, more than £42 billion has been raised for good causes in the areas of arts, sport, heritage and community.
The National Lottery players contribute around £30 million to good causes every week. The National Lottery has made more than 5,500 millionaires but its primary purpose is giving to good causes – over 565,000 individual grants have been awarded across the UK, that’s the equivalent of 200 life-changing projects in every UK postcode district.
About Future Screens NI
- Future Screens NI is multi-million Creative Cluster Programme funded by UKRI via the Industrial Strategy programme recognised for Global Excellence.
- Future Screens NI, Experimental Designs Won the Award for Best International Collaboration at the Irish Education Awards
- Future Screens NI together have invested ££52.5mn in the local creative economy generating 3000 projects and creating and sustaining 1539 jobs.
For media enquiries, contact Angela Warren, Communications Officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org