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Award-winning artist, Deepa Mann-Kler, launches new digital app, AR Peace Wall

Tuesday 25th January 2022 at 10am 0 Comments

Deepa Mann-Kler, award-winning artist and Chief Executive of Belfast creative immersive company, Neon, has launched a new app, AR Peace Wall, which aims to enhance the visitor experience at Cupar Way Peace Wall in Belfast. The app is free to use and available to download now on iOS and Android.

AR Peace Wall is one of 26 digital arts projects supported through the Creative Industries Seed Fund, a funding programme, worth £363,898, developed by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Future Screens NI, which aims to assist arts organisations, and creative businesses to undertake digital arts projects that contribute to the growth of the creative industries and unlock future income generation.

The AR Peace Wall app, which received £25,000 in funding through the Creative Industries Seed Fund, aims to use the new digital arts content for tourism by enhancing the visitor experience at the Peace Wall, both in person and online, through the discovery of new stories. Once downloaded the app works by pointing your mobile phone at the crane image and at the 5 AR triggers stencilled along Cupar Way.

The app explores peace building in a digital way and tells the story of a little boy on the morning the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. At its heart, this story is an exploration of the different approaches to peace building undertaken and how life found a way to survive heat that was 40 times greater than the heat emitted by the sun. It is a story of hope. AR Peace Wall uses the crane - called ‘Tsuru’ in Japanese - and is the international symbol for peace.

AR Peace Wall is also supported with funding from the Department for Communities and is a collaboration between Neon, Aura Digital, Yellow Design, Centre for Democracy & Peace Building, Peace Culture Village, Frank Lyons & Declan Keeney from Ulster University.

The artist behind AR Peace Wall, Deepa Mann-Kler, said

“For me what is really exciting about AR Peace Wall, is that it has the power to reshape the way we remember history in public spaces. AR can democratise public spaces by capturing the collective memory of a space. Since there are no regulations specifying who owns the digital space which is anchored in the real world, AR belongs to everyone at the moment. And AR has many applications across a wide range of fields, one of which is social justice.”

Deepa continued, “AR has the power to add much needed context to public spaces and it can reshape how society perceives and remembers history. Spaces have often been designed to exclude certain voices and narratives. In the past, there was little anyone could do about it without some form of vandalism. With AR technology in our grasp, everyone now has a new and powerful tool in the fight for social justice. AR has the capacity to forge connections, nurture empathy, and promote healing through immersive experiences.”

Matthew Malcolm, Creative Industries Development Officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented,

“The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to partner with Future Screens NI in the Creative Industries Seed Fund which so far has enabled 26 arts organisations to create art using digital and immersive technologies. This wonderful new digital app from artist Deepa Mann-Kler demonstrates to power of using digital arts within a social justice context and to enhance the experience of storytelling.”

Matthew continued, “The Creative Industries Seed Fund reflects the Arts Council’s continuing commitment to encouraging innovative practices that cross artform boundaries and build digital capabilities within the Northern Ireland arts sector. We are currently accepting online applications for a second round of the Creative Industries Seed Fund, which will close on 28 February, and I would encourage anyone interested in applying to visit the Arts Council’s website for more information.”

Professor Paul Moore, Director Future Screens NI said,

“Supporting Neon in the creation and launch of AR Peace Wall is a natural strategic fit for Future Screens NI. Our priorities include the delivery of expert technical skills, opportunity and growth across immersive technologies and industries in Northern Ireland. We see enormous tourism, creative, education and economic potential in site specific augmented storytelling. The international partnership with Hiroshima only made this AR experience more compelling."

To download the AV Peace Wall app visit


A second round of the Creative Industries Seed Fund is now open for online applications and will close at 12noon on Monday 28th February for grants up to a maximum of £25,000. For information on the webinar, eligibility, guidance notes and to apply visit http://artscouncil-ni.org/funding/scheme/creative-industries-seed-fund-2022. Please note guidance notes are also available on request in large print format and disk.

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