Funding, Artists

Mobile phone and headphones at the ready! - Visual artist, Deepa-Mann-Kler, announces innovative digital art exhibition, The Metaverse and Me, supported by The National Lottery

14th June, 2023

Artist, Deepa Mann-Kler, has announced details of her new digital art exhibition, The Metaverse and Me, which will take place on Tuesday 20 June, 6-9pm at Ormeau Baths, Belfast. The exhibition is free to enjoy but people must register in advance.

Artist Deepa Mann-Kler pictured in her studio with colourful artworks in the background.
Pictured is artist Deepa Mann-Kler, who previously received funding through the Individual Artists Digital Evolution Awards scheme to develop her digital art project, The Metaverse & Me.

Watch the video with artist Deepa Mann-Kler above.

The Metaverse & Me features artworks that combine cutting-edge digital animation with a stunning soundtrack. Each painting contains a virtual show that remains hidden until viewed through a mobile phone. It is as if each painting comes to life to reveal a hidden narrative. The Metaverse & Me is funded by The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Individual Artists Digital Evolution Awards.

Artist Deepa Mann-Kler said, "I have been working in the virtual and augmented reality space for seven years now, but this has been my first opportunity to explore how augmented reality and AI can add layers, depth and meaning to an image I have painted. I am so grateful to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and The National Lottery players, for giving me space to experiment as an artist. It is critical that R&D continues to be funded to ensure that Northern Ireland retains its competitive edge worldwide in the creative industries. It has also been incredibly rewarding to further the creative working relationship with Aura Studios, a company that I have tremendous respect for. I think, we have pulled together a show that will really attract a lot of attention from both the general public and the creative industries.”

Matthew Malcolm, Creative Industries Development Officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented, “The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to support this innovative digital art project, thanks to The National Lottery players. The Metaverse & Me is a first of its kind augmented reality exhibition and is funded through the Arts Council’s Individual Artists Digital Evolution Awards, a programme which aims to support artists who are making digital art for the first time or are working with digital or immersive technology in a novel or inventive way. The programme reflects our commitment to encouraging emerging practices that cross artform boundaries and build digital capabilities within the Northern Ireland arts sector and I would encourage everyone to visit The Metaverse & Me, a truly unique and exciting presentation of digital art.”

Deepa Mann-Kler continued, “When visitors come to the show they will need to download an app called The Metaverse & Me from either playstore or iOs app stores. This app contains the augmented reality elements of the show, for those who attend on the launch night. But we also plan to include a virtual gallery which allows anyone anywhere with the app to experience the immersive exhibition in the comfort of their own home. This will be available in days following the show on the same app. We are also in discussions to create a virtual reality version of the show. Music is a critical element of the exhibition, so please remember to bring your fully charged mobile and headphones.”

Aura Studios said, "We are grateful for the opportunity to be involved in such an exciting project. Working alongside the talented Deepa Mann-Kler, we were able to develop the augmented reality element of the paintings using Unreal engine. Aura Studios is a creative technology company working in animation, games, XR and virtual production. We use real time technology across our projects to help tell stories and create experiences. We are thrilled to see our technology bring the paintings to life and contribute to the first AR art exhibition of its kind in Belfast.”

The Metaverse and Me Exhibition takes place on Tuesday 20 June 2023, from 6pm to 9pm, at Ormeau Baths, Events Space, 18 Ormeau Avenue, Belfast, BT2 8HS.

Those wishing to take part must register in advance and bring their own mobile phone and own headphones. The App Store Name for Playstore and iOS is The Metaverse & Me.

Register your FREE place at,

Artist Deepa Mann-Kler pictured in her studio with Matthew Malcolm, Creative Industries Officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Artist Deepa Mann-Kler pictured in her studio with Matthew Malcolm, Creative Industries Officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

About the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is the lead funding and development agency for the Arts providing support to arts projects throughout the region, through its Treasury and The National Lottery funds. Our funding enables artists and arts organisations to increase access to the arts across society and deliver great art that is within everyone’s reach.

Every week National Lottery players raise more than £30M for good causes.

More than £47 billion has now been raised by National Lottery players to support good causes since 1994.

More than 670,000 projects have been supported with National Lottery funding, the equivalent of around 240 lottery grants in every UK postcode district.