Margam Country Park has been chosen as the first venue in Wales to host a unique virtual reality experience in partnership with Migrations.
The virtual experience, known as ‘Treehugger: Wawona’, will be coming from the Big Apple, where it has been currently nominated for the Storyscapes Award, straight to the small steelmaking town of Port Talbot. The experience enables visitors to explore the insides of a Giant Sequoia tree, known as nature’s cathedrals, one of the largest living organisms in the world.
Through a giant replica model and wearing a VR headset, you are invited to place your head inside the tree’s knot, and to travel from its buried roots, right up to its leafy canopy. A vibrating body suit helps to connect you to the tree’s hidden bio-signals and rhythms, while a stunning soundscape features recordings of birds, insects, amphibians, rain and wind. You can even interact with the beauty around you – moving your hands to brush around a stunning sea of evaporating water droplets.
Treehugger is a way of transporting people to the tree’s natural environment in California’s Sequoia National Park to virtually experience its wonders. The experience is a unique way of blending art and science to allow people to enjoy while learning about the inner workings of a tree.
Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Councillor Ali Thomas, OBE, said:
“We are delighted that Margam Country Park has been chosen as the first venue in Wales to host this unique Virtual Reality learning experience, which encourages pupils and visitors to learn in an engaging and exciting way.
“Events like this further demonstrate the Council’s commitment to encouraging a truly digital literate County Borough”.
Last year Neath Port Talbot Council signed up to Digital Inclusion Charter, a Welsh Government initiative, launched last February through Digital Communities Wales. The main aim of the Charter is to promote basic digital skills and help people get online and events like the Expeditions Programme demonstrate the Council’s commitment in helping to achieve this aim.
Treehugger has been designed by London based Marshmallow Laser Feast and co-commissioned by Migrations in collaboration with London’s Natural History Museum and Salford University.
Barney Steel, MLF co-founder and creative director said:
“What if we could shift our perception of the world, accelerate time, see microscopic detail or even see through solid objects?
“Well, now we can. VR makes this possible by making the invisible visible whilst distorting time and space to transform our perception of the world around us.”
Visitors will be able to experience Treehugger at Margam Park from the 27th May to the 1st July. For more information and to buy a ticket: www.margamcountrypark.co.uk/treehugger