In this unique and engaging show, art, technology and mental health are all interconnected

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  • I visited Thomas Jefferson University’s new immersive experience and was repeatedly fascinated by the light and movement of the artwork I was looking at.

Some of the works in “Waiting Room – Immersive Art for Wellbeing” were simply framed on the wall, while others occupied a small space and used light and shadow to engage the viewer.

The exhibition, which focuses on art that uses light, shadow and movement to create an immersive art experience, opened at his HOT BED gallery on September 17th.

Ringo Dolly, an artist and professor of industrial design at Jefferson University, organized the event. At The Jefferson Center of Immersive Arts for Health, Godley is conducting research to determine whether immersive art, such as the works in the Waiting Room exhibit, may be calming or have a positive effect on mental health.

Some of it is based on distraction therapy, whereby giving someone a headset distracts them just enough for their stress level to decrease, they do not require as much painkiller, and you can get them through difficult operations just because they are being distracted, according to the expert. Therefore, the question is if it is possible to create such an immersive atmosphere without a headset.

Godley and the other artists in the exhibition created works that are both immersive for the viewer and compact enough to be used in actual waiting areas to relax patients.

Six artists are represented in the exhibition: Godley, Aidan Fowler, Alyson Denny, Jessica Judith Beckwith, Philip Hart, and Yael Erel. Four of the winning designs from the 2022 Immersive Arts for Health Student Design Competition are also included. The Jefferson Center for Immersive Arts for Health welcomed designers from all over the world to submit works for the competition.

The majority of the pieces employ lighting and projectors to produce particular effects. One of Godley’s pieces, for instance, is illuminated by a projector that plays a video on each actual tile, giving the piece movement. According to Godley, she utilized digital projection with her mapping to make sure the projection only struck the tiles it was meant to.

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