QUAD in Derby has a new season of exhibitions and events starting in February as part of its ‘Co-Lab Season’. Co-Lab is a five week-long showcase of newly co-commissioned work by two artists who usually employ traditional techniques such as painting, drawing or sculpture, but have taken their way of working into Virtual Reality digital realm or film works.

In QUAD Gallery One, Anna Bunting-Branch presents Warm Worlds And Otherwise, a newly commissioned exhibition that relates to the  encounters between feminist practice and science fiction, using painting, digital animation and Virtual Reality to explore ideas of worldbuilding, embodied perception and technologies of representation. Central to the project is META (2019), an experimental 360-degree VR animation transforming the artists’ hand-painted characters, props and backdrops into an immersive virtual story world.

Also included is the new installation AU Sandbox (2020) which expands her imagined worlds, and an accompanying ambient sound piece by artist Aliyah Hussain that underscores the viewer’s experience in the Gallery space as well as in the virtual environment. Co-curated by Helen Starr and Peter Bonnell.

In QUAD Gallery Two, Dryden Goodwin’s newly commissioned film Alongside is an inquiry into proximity and empathy, explored through the working life of a social care worker as he builds supportive relationships with three vulnerable clients with severe physical disabilities or autism. Alongside reflects on the care worker’s profound responsibility and drive, as he finds ways to decode his clients’ needs to understand their anxieties and motivations. This is mirrored in Goodwin’s process of close observation, deciphering and translating this most intimate and delicate of jobs into a sensory study, rendered through his camera lens, pencil drawings and layered soundtrack. The 24-minute film will be accompanied by an exhibit of the original drawings created by Goodwin during production.

Both exhibitions will act as inspiration for a programme of accompanying Participation activities, such as Tiltbrush painting, a Virtual drawing tool that will be set up in QUAD Gallery for visitors to emulate Bunting-Branch and Goodwin’s work.

The Co-Lab Season takes place in QUAD Gallery from 29th February to 5th April 2020. For more information, please see the QUAD website or call the Box Office on 01332 290606. A launch event takes place Friday 28th February, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. You can book a place on Eventbrite.