A new app has been launched which reveals the hidden stories of Wirral which can be viewed and explored using a mobile phone.
The project was led by artist Alan Dunn, who designed the iconic sculpture of the Ray and Julie chairs on London Road.
By visiting www.fourwordswirral.com on a mobile phone, people can use the free digital art app to place augmented reality sculptures on their travels that reveal hidden stories and connections to where they are. find.
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The project is designed to explore contemporary folklore and social history of Wirral through stories that have been condensed into just four words.
It was created with the help of seven artists, including Alan, visiting three locations – Port Sunlight, New Ferry and Spital – with the aim of uncovering the hidden history of these cities.
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Alan said the idea started on lockdown when he started walking his dog Lulu and began exploring the Spital neighborhood on his doorstep in more detail.
He discovered that Italian prisoners of war were once housed in boy scout huts on the edge of the woods of the Dibbinsdale Nature Reserve in Spital, not far from where Harold Wilson lived.
The paths through the woods were built by these prisoners of war, who are now a nature reserve and a park filled with birdsong.
The end result is that thirty hidden stories have been uncovered – all distilled into four words each – which reveal links to slavery, a community in transformation after a massive explosion, hidden viruses and the power of nature and wildlife. during a pandemic.
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Oddly, the project also uncovered other unexpected connections to âA Clockwork Orange,â Batman, and even the Beach Boys.
Alan said: âI got the idea for this project during lockdown 2020, sitting at home and needing to savor and learn more about these areas which are all within a 4km radius of my place of residence.
âI wanted to work only with regional artists and take socially distant walks with them in these places, just watching, discussing, researching and meeting people, gradually peeling off layers to reveal stories that are not just history but are part of people’s daily lives. who lived here. “
Alan wants to encourage people to visit the website www.fourwordswirral.com and get involved in the digital art project.
When the site is viewed on a mobile phone, each story is transformed into a floating augmented reality animation that can be ‘projected’ onto any location, instantly creating tiny or gigantic works of art that can then be captured at any location. screen and shared globally on social media using #fourwordswirral.
Alan added: âI wanted to explore AR (augmented reality) because it kind of reflects our interest in the stories that are hidden until you start looking.
âSome of the things we found were heartwarming, funny, or sometimes disturbing, but we wanted this free app to encourage people to dig deeper into a variety of important topics. “