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Augmented content planned for city's 'Seven Saints'

Bristol's iconic 'Seven Saints of St Paul's' murals could be enhanced digitally to offer an immersive experience to teach residents and visitors about the history of the area.

The images, on buildings, honour the individual accomplishments of the founders of the 1968 St Paul's Carnival and their contributions to the city.

Boomsatsuma and Iconic Black Britons say they are now 'building on three years collaboration' after being funded to 'design and create a prototype that will enhance the Seven Saints of St Paul's murals, by bringing them to life through augmented reality'. 

The project aims to tell the stories 'behind the people and the area, allowing audiences to experience new elements of the narrative through digital animation and audio'. 

The project, part of Bristol and Bath Creative Digital Placemaking Pathfinder, will create a collective tour of a place - building on the existing history and culture of the Seven Saints of St Paul's murals.

People are being invited to complete an online survey to help inform a prototype (see below).

Artist Michele Curtis said: "This community focused project has always centred on inclusivity and collaboration, so we’re keen to hear from a wide audience of Bristolians to understand what is important to them.

"We had planned to host focus groups in a series of face to face consultations to hear what people would like to see represented in the tour, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and derailed all plans. 

"As lockdown eases, we’re now keen to hear from people and have adapted our process to be online to reignite this technically advanced, creative project and put culturally important stories into the digital domain for everyone to come and share.

"This is an AR evolution to St Pauls Art, Culture and Heritage Trail, which completed the first two stages of development in 2019. 

"The launch of the accompanying mobile app and guided tours provided opportunities for members of the public to engage with the rich cultural heritage of the African Caribbean community and learn about our shared local history."

Lyndsay Davies, Creative Projects Manager at boomsatsuma, and Michele Curtis, Founder of Iconic Black Britons, are leading a team of all female creative technologists and animators who will design the technology to enhance the current tours by augmenting visuals and audio to allow audiences to further engage with the Saints, their stories and their impact on Bristol.

In order to ensure the prototype serves the community of St Pauls and the wider community of Bristol, the collaboration are asking people to take part in a short survey about the project 'with the potential of being part of a small, safe, focus group to offer feedback about what content should be augmented'.

The prototype will be finished in October, with members of the public welcome to take part in the tour, before the collaboration will look for more funding to complete the project.

To take part in the survey click here

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