Bristolians invited to shape St Pauls’ AR tour

Iconic Black Britons and boomsatsuma are asking the people of Bristol what they would like to see included in an Augmented Reality tour, centred around the Seven Saints of St Pauls’ murals.

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Project Survey

Local artist Michele Curtis led the Iconic Black Britons project that created The Seven Saints of St Pauls’, in 2018, which began as an exhibition and is a celebration of the Windrush Generation who came to Bristol and made political and social strides for change. ‘The Seven Saints of St Pauls’ honours the individual accomplishments of the founders of the 1968 St Pauls Festival and their contributions to the city.

boomsatsuma and Iconic Black Britons, building on three years collaboration, have been funded to design and create a prototype that will enhance the Seven Saints of St. Pauls murals, by bringing them to life through augmented reality. This will enhance the engagement between visitors with St Pauls, the stories behind the people and the area, allowing audiences to experience new elements of the narrative through digital animation and audio. The project, part of Bristol and Bath Creative Digital Placemaking Pathfinder, will create a collective tour of a 'place', building on the existing history and culture of the Seven Saints of St. Pauls murals. To help deliver a prototype that serves the community and develop wider audiences, people are being invited to complete the online survey.

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Michele Curtis states:

“This community focused project has always centred on inclusivity and collaboration, so we’re keen to hear from a wide audience of Bristolians to understand what is important to them.
“We had planned to host focus groups in a series of face to face consultations to hear what people would like to see represented in the tour, when the Covid 19 pandemic hit and derailed all plans. As lockdown eases, we’re now keen to hear from people and have adapted our process to be online to reignite this technically advanced, creative project and put culturally important stories into the digital domain for everyone to come and share."

This is an AR evolution to St Pauls Art, Culture and Heritage Trail, which completed the first two stages of development in 2019. The launch of the accompanying mobile app and guided tours provided opportunities for members of the public to engage with the rich cultural heritage of the African Caribbean community and learn about our shared local history.

Lyndsay Davies, Creative Projects Manager at boomsatsuma and Michele Curtis, Founder of Iconic Black Britons, are leading a team of all female creative technologists and animators who will design the technology to enhance the current tours by augmenting visuals and audio to allow audiences to further engage with the Saints, their stories and their impact on Bristol.

In order to ensure the prototype serves the community of St Pauls and the wider community of Bristol, the collaboration are asking people to take part in a short survey about the project, with the potential of being part of a small, safe, focus group to offer feedback about what content should be augmented.

The prototype will be finished in October, with members of the public welcome to take part in the tour, before the collaboration will look for more funding to complete the project.