In 2016 I had the chance to create a multimedia installation for the ‘coding’ exhibition at Bury Art Museum, which was on display for a month. The inspiration I had to work with was the Text Art archive, which I visited multiple times before deciding I would base my project on Polari, after learning about the Polari Mission Project by Jez Dolan, who came to view my installation on the opening day.
Polari was a secretive LGBT language, becoming extremely popular in the 1960’s when people of the LGBT community were scared about revealing their sexualities. Polari Mission was a 2014 project to bring back the language, and inspired me to bring it back once again.
I combined animation, projection mapping, social media, and coding using MaxMSP to create my installation. I decided to decode Polari in a fun way, as well as improving my technical skills at the same time. I attended workshops to learn how to code unique software to projection map my Polari quote animations, and alter the projection ‘screen’ sizes by allowing me to drag the corners of the software to fit it perfectly to the wall I was projecting onto.
I worked closely with Susan, the curator to figure out how my installation would fit into the space I had to work with. She allocated me my own small room, as I needed a darker area for my projections to be more visible, and then closed the door off so that the room seemed secretive and hidden, fitting in with my theme.
Users read the numbered quotes being projected in Polari, then scanned my QR code, which linked to my twitter feed @burypolari, to find the translation of the quote. Combining social media into my project made it more engaging for visitors.
The animation I previously created to advertise the exhibition was also featured as the advertisement for the exhibition on Bury Art Museum’s website and the MMU website.