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In the eye of the beholder
Hybrid making in digital and physical space

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Commissioned by Axis as part of the 'Let's Get Phygital' project investigating strategies for hybrid creative working, Simon explored the use of virtual reality (VR) and three-dimensional creative technologies, as a means to deepen engagement with the wider cleft lip and palate community. Participants were invited to interact in a digital interface with 3D models of the artist created with photogrammetry and imported into virtual spaces. In workshops, creative sculpting tools to modify and manipulate to their own designs were used to explore aspects of the fantastical self, stigma and representation, while maintaining a safe environment for participants. 

The project worked with specific individuals (a facial surgeon, cleft psychologist and an adult with cleft lip and palate) to explore varied perspectives. It opened deeper learning around sharing of our digital selves with the artists 3D identity being altered by participants. Additionally the participants reflected on how such novel digital tools could be useful in healthcare decision making to experimentally view the holistic cranial and facial appearance beyond the limits of photos and mirrors. The collaborative reflections were utilised as inspiration to create further surrealist works in virtual reality, with immersive spaces a participant can move around and interact with the artist’s portrait.

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