Bendigo Art Gallery + Josh Muir: What’s on Your Mind?

When visitors holds an iPad up to artwork, the illustrations become animated, allowing the viewer to experience the works in a culturally engaged and dynamic way. Muir hopes the works support the evolution of Aboriginal art and challenge stereotypes. He combines elements of his proud Indigenous heritage with a broader contemporary visual language. and explores his journey through mental illness.


Art Processors

Practice Area


Bendigo Art Gallery


The Challenge

This would be a contemporary take on First Nations art following the same storytelling traditions, by means of experiential pathways that would encourage more visitors—particularly younger people—to engage with Muir’s artwork.

Project Vision

Working closely with Muir, Bendigo Art Gallery, and digital animator Isobel Knowles, we combined augmented reality with an original soundscape and Muir’s own narration to add new dimensions to his artwork.

Bendigo Art Gallery + Josh Muir: What’s on Your Mind? Video

‘Death’ by Josh Muir

Kimberly Canales-Ascui

‘Psychosis’ by Josh Muir

Kimberly Canales-Ascui

‘Search’ & ‘Death’ by Josh Muir

Elliotte Frankie

Design + Execution

Working closely with Muir, Knowles and the First Nations Curator Shonae Hobson, the designer created an AR experience that brings the works to life and enables visitors to interact with them and experience a sense of depth. The artworks are the triggers (as opposed to a distracting and clashing QR code) providing a seamless transition. Original music and soundscapes link Muir’s raw narration to his slick artworks.

The immersive experience created an easy and engaging pathway for audiences to be part of Muir’s exploration of being young and Indigenous in a technological world.

Collaboration was central to the project. The experience was designed alongside Muir and Knowles so that it was integral to telling Muir’s personal stories—revealing hidden subtext and delivering the message in a way that visitors might not perceive from just looking at the art.

There are as few barriers as possible, with easy to use technology and a minimal digital interface so that more visitors can enjoy the experience.

‘Search’ & ‘Death’ by Josh Muir

Elliotte Frankie

iPad at Bendigo Art Gallery for ‘What’s On Your Mind?’ by Josh Muir

Bendigo Art Gallery

Bendigo Art Gallery + Josh Muir: What’s On Your Mind?

Bendigo Art Gallery

‘Death’ by Josh Muir

Bendigo Art Gallery

Project Details
The most innovative aspect of this installation is how it brings another dimension with AR as a layer to give an experience beyond the art and enhance the storytelling.
Juror 1
The use of technology makes sense in this context and I appreciate how well the animations fit the style of the showcased pieces. I think it is great how artists and designers collaborated to enrich and deepen visitors' experience.
Juror 2
When looking at all the different expressions of AR submitted this year, this project struck me as the most innovative and exciting. Here, AR is put in service of the artist to "augment" the artworks themselves and bring them into dialogue with the viewer. I'm excited by the expressive possibilities of art that anticipates and incorporates digital layers and interactivity.
Juror 3
Design Team

Becky Sui Zhen Freeman (producer)
Dan Parkinson (ar developer)
Mitch McCaffrey (ar developer)
Sebastian Beswick, (technical support)


Josh Muir (artist)
Isobel Knowles (animation & photography)
Shonae Hobson (curator)

Photo Credits

Kimberly Canales-Ascui, Bendigo Art Gallery (photography)
Elliotte Frankie, Bendigo Art Gallery (photography)

Open Date

November 2019