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Seeing the Invisible is an Augmented Reality Royal Botanic Gardens Exhibition

Seeing the Invisible is a new Augmented Reality (AR) exhibition, and is now at Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne until September 2022.

In a world first, Seeing the Invisible will be shown concurrently at 12 botanic gardens across 6 countries – USA, UK, Israel, South Africa, Canada and Australia.

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Seeing the invisible melbourne

The botanic gardens exhibition shows the same artworks in each location, but the experience will differ with the surroundings, climate, season and sensory input. It's a great way to add another of interest when visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens with kids!

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Seeing the Invisible will be available in all locations until September 2022, allowing visitors to experience the exhibition at their leisure and as the surroundings change with the seasons.

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Seeing the Invisible was created by Jerusalem Botanic Gardens in collaboration with Outset Contemporary Art Fund.

It includes 12 AR artworks from contemporary artists Ai Weiwei, Refik Anadol, El Anatsui, Ori Gersht, Mohammed Kazem, Sarah Meyohas, Sydney Australia's Mel O'Callaghan, Pamela Rosenkranz, Timur Si-Qin, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Isaac Julien CBE.

Seeing the Invisible marks the first publicly exhibited AR works by some of these artists.

Seeing the Invisible

Artworks address themes of nature, the environment and sustainability. They explore connections between nature, art and technology, in conjunction with showcasing art's ability to forge connections through collaboration of artists and institutions resulting in works to be enjoyed by audiences around the world.

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While Seeing the Invisible is not an exhibition specifically designed for kids or families, it is an ideal way to expose the youngest in our community to art! It is ultimately immersive and interactive, and there's no real artwork that they're not allowed to touch.

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As an outdoors experience, it's also easy to sit down for a break, wander off to explore the gardens or stop for a play. If you visit every artwork you will have completed a full circuit of the Royal Botanic Gardens, so it takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to experience everything.

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Note that the exhibition has been designed for optimal viewing in the daytime – as the light fades, so will the quality of the AR imagery.

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You'll be able to take photographs of the art experience through the app, including people exploring the art. However, selfies aren't recommended for the best results.

Make sure you take fully charged devices – because you will need them to explore all the art works in detail!

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Download the Seeing the Invisible app before you go, it's available from the App or Google Play stores.


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Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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