Using Photoshop techniques, artist Ngadi Smart blends scenery, portraits, and objects to tell a more authentic story about Sierra Leone than any single photo can convey: fishing net surrounds a woman’s face with the strength and regality of a lion's mane; harvested palm kernels defy gravity in whimsical suspension; and a littered port gets shrouded in pink tin. Smart is intently countering the history of the Western gaze.
The accompanying AR experience follows suit, purposefully deconstructing the layers to reveal the stories embedded in each collage and breaking critical elements out of the frame and into the viewer’s own spatial reality.
This Augmented Reality experience was developed by Simone Salvo and Lisa Jamhoury, co-founders of Parallel, for the 2022 Look Climate Lab at Open Eye gallery in Liverpool, UK. Inspired by artists, like Ngadi, pushing their societies forward, the work of Parallel probes today’s cutting edge communications technology as a means to invite embodied participation. We believe that activating new tools, alongside existing models of art- and change-making, can offer additional entry points to engage with critical issues and expand the potential impact of a story.