THE PROJECT

WALERT MURRUP

POSSUM SPIRITS

CREATING FUTURE FOLKLORE THROUGH AUGMENTED REALITY
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WALERT MURRUP = POSSUM SPIRITS

 

“Augmented reality is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory and olfactory. “ -Wikipedia :p

Using 3D Augmented Reality Sculptures, my intention was to create digital works to reclaim, retell and celebrate my Boonwurrung culture, folklore and identity in a contemporary urban and digital landscape, by creating an Augmented reality app of my Possum Spirits (My own future folklore).

 

Working with Augmented Reality, bringing possum spirits into the public space or anywhere the audience has their device.

I wish to use this project reclaim a prominent position for authentic Boonwurrung and South Eastern visual cultural identity, that is a blend of contemporary and traditional design within Melbourne through the use of a mix of traditional and personal folklore and iconography, that represents both the artists traditional roots, as well as personally evolved cultural influence.

The background of my connection to possums comes from my childhood experiences and memories of caring for a sick and injured possum I attempted to rescued from Carlton Gardens, and them being one of the first close up deaths I’d experienced.

I’ve always been drawn to possums from a young age because of this. 

Growing up in a community that has a high early mortality rate, I experienced continued loss from a very young age.

This has greatly impacted my mental health around dealing with grief. In the last five years, many members of our family and community have been lost before their time.

The possums are my way of dealing with loss, grief and my attempt at healing.

This particular possum work is inspired by a street art intervention that I came across where an aerosol line had been drawn around a possum carcass off Acland St, St Kilda in 2018. 

I instinctively took a photo of this and played with it in Paint 3D, coming up with the original design of the Possum Spirits shape. 

 

In 2019 I tried and failed to create a larger real resin model of this Possum for my second yr of my MFA (before transferring to MAPS) but what it created was a concept which I am proud of and titled "Rest in Peace".

Once transferring to MAPS I recreated the resin Possums in a smaller silicon mould for my Guerrilla Art Project. I took these dayglo resin possums on an adventure around the Melbourne CBD and to their final resting place in Fitzroy Gardens where Cooks Cottage is located.

When Covid-19 pandemic hit, I lost two major projects which were to be my original basis of my Research for my Masters.

The stress and the anxiety of the early days crippled me and still has left an impact on my mental and physical health.
 

But applying for the City of Melbourne COVID-19 quick response Arts Grants ignited this idea I had wanted to do using Augmented reality. 

 A week before I knew I would be approved for this grant and doing a lot of practice based research, I started to teach myself how to go about making an AR 3D sculpture of my Possum Spirits. 

The next week when I got the approval letter it was a major relief.

Because of that Grant I've been able to really work on developing this concept.

Possums are a native animal that are treated like pests and often killed by invading species or removal from their territory.

But Possums are healing spirits, in a time when we need healing the most.

Over time I wish to develop the Future Folklore around these WALERT MURRUP. 

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Supported by the City of Melbourne COVID-19 Arts Grants