Ancient Greek mythology comes to life using projection-mapped animation on traditional pottery forms.
‘Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors, and Heroes’ is an exhibition of over 170 pieces of the most treasured artefacts of the British Museum collection. When the Auckland War Memorial Museum hosted the show on its first ever Australasian tour, they knew it was a chance to share something special.
To unlock the stories in the exquisite marble statues, pottery, jewellery and armour, we developed four short projection-mapped storytelling experiences. Using a combination of 3D, 2D animation and props, ‘live’ artefacts were created. Whole and broken amphorae forms, and a recessed marble frieze, punctuated the exhibition with dynamic, playful and absorbing narratives.
The work took a careful combination of techniques to correct distortions, give a painted-on effect, and interact with artfully broken surfaces. In one piece, the battles of the ancient Greek islands are played out on amphora fragments. The armies can be seen sailing their ships from piece to piece, with the negative space becoming the Aegean Sea.
Visitors to the exhibition found a journey through the ancient sculpture, armour and jewellery that was punctuated by engaging animated experiences on key themes.
Reflecting the importance of sport to ancient society, we brought to life javelin, boxing and chariot racing, on an amphorae dedicated to the physical pursuits.
Our second piece explored everything from politics to the performing arts, life and death, in a sequence interested in some of the more nuanced passions of the ancient Grecians.
In a stylised retelling of the geo-politics of the time, shards of broken amphorae became islands in an Aegean Sea. Armies were animated sailing the negative spaces between the shards to invade and conquer the armies on neighbouring ‘islands’.
Reflecting a key treasure from the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, our 3D animated ‘frieze’, rendered the type of mythological figures that dominate the cultural heritage of the era.
When the Auckland War Memorial Museum hosted the ‘Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors, and Heroes’ exhibition on its first ever Australasian tour, they saw a chance to integrate digital projection technology to create a very special experience.
PHQ Studios were approached to pitch for the delivery of four short projection-mapped storytelling experiences. The brief was to surprise, delight, and inform visitors, be beautiful to look at and celebrate the artefacts.
Our response proposed a flexible animated storytelling experience, translated across different thematic areas of the exhibition. It accommodated several users and viewers at any one time and contextualised the physical objects, revealing their significance and uncovering their stories.