The high-tech devices debut a customised application designed around the exhibition, extending the museum’s tools to deliver value to its audience.
“With more people absorbing information from electronic media, i-Pads were another way of supplying additional information and offering visitors an interactive experience – a more personal level of engagement,” says Gerard Beckingsale, Puke Ariki exhibitions manager.
“They are also good for tailoring information to each person and great for folk with disabilities – like people who need larger text or spoken labels”.
The exhibition is a chance to explore how the creative process works and to ask why certain mechanical processes are chosen. McLean’s work lends itself to these purposes perfectly. His paintings are rich in motifs and symbols, open to many interpretations, and appeal to all ages.
In The Farmer’s Wife and The Farmer exhibition, i-Pads help demonstrate McLean’s singular artistic process. Users enjoy an artist’s tour of the exhibition, audio catalogue labels, and video footage. The application also enables the user to peel back each layer (or stage) of a painting’s image with a simple flick over its touch-screen; granting insight into McLean’s artistic process.
Being the first in New Zealand to develop i-Pads for public use in a museum brings challenges. The highly sought after i-Pads bring additional planning and security measures, but Puke Ariki believes the rewards for the broader community are greater. Rental is $10 for non-members and $5 for members, users must be over 16 years of age and must leave their current drivers license or passport as security.
Image 1: Gerard Beckingsale, Puke Ariki exhibitions manager, holds one of the museum’s new iPads. Photo courtesy Puke Ariki
Image 2: John McLean, The Farmer Seeking Harbour with the Fishers. Photo courtesy of John McLean