Fat Red Bird

Narrated by today’s influential artists, and addressing young audiences directly, (Hi)story of a Painting is an intimate journey into the stories behind the art that changed the world.

(Hi)story of a Painting is an animated VR and 360 series aimed at engaging young audiences with art by creating conversational experiences focused on the human stories behind some of the world’s most famed art. T

The series comprises five 12-minute episodes, running at a total of 60 minutes of content. It weaves intimate narratives about the people behind the works of art that have nestled their way into the pop culture. Each episode focuses on a single artist, their most renowned work of art, and their unlikely journeys to success.

(Hi)story of a Painting mixes a familiar and intimate narrative tone led by contemporary creative influencers with a methodical understanding of the painting’s context, meaning and significance through time. Each episode uncovers themes from the artist’s context and practice that resonate with contemporary life. To that end, the series aims to contribute to the democratisation of art by engaging with and empowering viewers to better understand the art that influenced our world. (Hi)story of a Painting wants to inspire young and new audiences through the stories of featured artists’ struggles and successes.

The overall series narrative arc will follow an artist’s winding path to success. The prototype illustrates this with a journey into the making of Georges Seurat’s La Grande Jatte and how Georges went from underdog to world-renowned artist. (Hi)story of a Painting will show that an artist can come from anywhere, and though everyone’s path is unique, that chosen artists are linked by their journey against the odds to becoming icons.

Walkthrough video – 2020

Intended audience

(Hi)story of a Painting targets both existing art gallery/cultural space visitors as well as young new audiences, specifically Gen-C (the Creative Generation).

Diversity is embedded in the project’s DNA, giving this series the potential to speak to a large and varied audience: the selection of artists and artworks will appeal to both existing cultural space visitors and young Gen-C viewers. To reflect this, featured artists will come from different cultures, backgrounds and eras, and episode narrators will be creative influencers who resonate with Gen-C. For example, the prototype is narrated by British rapper, Speech Debelle.

The overall tone of the series is conversational and the concept is easily translatable into any language, making it adaptable for international audiences.

Creator’s statement

I (Gaëlle Mourre) studied Art History as an undergraduate and when I embarked upon these studies, I experienced how this subject is often seen as highbrow and daunting – there’s clearly some work to be done to dispel this notion!

So Quentin Darras and I started talking about how we could contribute to democratising art, and that’s how (Hi)story of a Painting was born. We did our research and concluded that there was a (Hi)story of a Painting shaped hole in the VR market, which we hope to fill with this edutainment series

Technical summary

(Hi)story of a Painting is built for the Oculus Quest in a 6DoF and a tethered or untethered headset is required. This immersive experience is also available online.

Project team details

  • Gaëlle Mourre – Co-Creative Lead and Producer, Fat Red Bird
  • Quentin Darras – Co-Creative and Technical Lead, Monkeyframe
  • Charlotte Mikkelborg – Co-Producer
  • Jasmin Kent Rodgman – Composer Speech
  • Debelle – Prototype Narrator
  • Dominique Darras – Art History Consultant

Team profile

The team behind (Hi)story of a Painting is focused on bringing to audiences a new and fun way of looking at and understanding art, artists, and art history. Their aim is to engage with new and young audiences, make art more engaging and accessible, and to share the powerful statements artists have made through time that echo with today.

Past work

  • 2019 – Mechanical Souls
  • 2019 – Honda VR commercial
  • 2019 – Fly 2018 – The Journey
  • 2017 – Octonauts
  • 2016 – Born into Exile