Step into an interactive digital forest at Eureka!

Playing an interactive game to feed digital monsters in Arboreal (Photo credit: Jonathan Pow)
Playing an interactive game to feed digital monsters in Arboreal (Photo credit: Jonathan Pow)

Families are getting the chance to step into an interactive digital forest, Arboreal, when it opens at award-winning Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax this Saturday (January 18).

The brand new experience, created by artists from the USA especially for Eureka!, invites children to interact with an array of digital plants and creatures.

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Arboreal is a feast for the eyes; a playfully immersive space designed just for kids.

Arboreal is a brand new exhibition created by US artists David Glicksman and Moses Journey, where children can interact with large-scale digital projections on the walls and floor, from posing for selfies as fireflies swirl and settle onto your body, creating a looping ambient soundtrack by triggering stalactites and fungi, stomping on giant buttons to engage with magical creatures from frogs to monsters, and propelling creatures around a giant woodland game of pinball.

Visitors can attempt to sneak up and startle an array of creatures clinging to the forest fauna and discover the owner of the eerie eyeballs watching you from the bushes.

The visual design of Arboreal is inspired by the illustrations of American artist Eyvind Earle, whose stylings for many of the Walt Disney classic 1950s productions – most famously Sleeping Beauty and Lady and the Tramp – shaped the visual tone of animation for generations to come.

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Arboreal is the second collaboration between Eureka! and Lumen Art Projects following on from the success of their exhibition Fusion: Adventures in digital art in 2018, with state-of-the-art technical equipment and support provided by Universal Live.

Ruth Saxton, Eureka! Arts & Projects Manager said “We can’t wait to welcome families to Arboreal. Visually, it’s like stepping into a cross between Avatar and a classic Disney movie, with playful interactions and surprise creatures to discover. We know that children are going to love it - if they can get their parents to stop hogging the games!"

Moses Journey, Co-creator and Creative Director of Arboreal, said: “We strive to create magical experiences, and see Arboreal as our most magical piece yet. Watching Eureka's visitors enjoy the piece has been one of the greatest joys of our careers.

"I’ve never felt more creatively fulfilled. It would not have been possible without our brilliant creative team, who worked countless nights and weekends to bring our vision to life. Thank you Lumen and Eureka! for giving us this incredible opportunity, and thank you Universal Live for your expert hand in installing the piece!”

Arboreal is open to the public from Saturday, January 18, in the ground floor Spark gallery at Eureka! in Halifax.

Admission to Arboreal is included in the price of visiting the museum, or free to current Eureka! annual pass holders.

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