REI helps artist create imaginative experience by donating free space during lockdown

06th Aug

An artist has created an imaginative virtual reality and physical experience that has launched in London this month thanks to space donated by Birmingham-based Real Estate Investors.

Georgia Tucker is studying for an MA in fine art at Birmingham School of Art but her work was interrupted by Covid-19 when she was unable use the university premises or her studio during the lockdown.

But once REI heard of Georgia’s plight, it responded by allowing her to use premises at 33 Bennetts Hill in Birmingham city centre free of charge.

The result is what Georgia has called “Advena”, described as a “virtual reality resort and immersive experience that responds to our insatiable desire for escapism this summer”.

Georgia said: “I can’t thank REI enough for agreeing to let me have the creative space at 33 Bennetts Hill.

“I have used this as a workshop space during the pandemic while my studio and university were shut, building an immersive experience called Advena.

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“I then contacted the W in London in Leicester Square with a proposal to take over the whole hotel, turning it into an Advena oasis and this has now opened for a three-month virtual reality display.”

Georgia has transformed W London’s signature WOW Suite into a visual sensation featuring tropical fauna wallpaper, colourful architecture, and a pink ball pit ‘pool’ in the bathroom.

Through Advena, Georgia explores the ecological and social impact of tourism and its corresponding resort culture.

The full experience of Advena is designed to be an overstimulating sensory experience, highlighting the excessive nature of current fast lifestyles and our craving for more stimulation.

After travelling to Advena, users can then stop by the Perception Bar to try an exclusive Advena cocktail (The Escapist) and an Advena dessert (the Tropical Rock).

Georgia added: “The Advena experience seeks to get users into the Summer mood through the lens of virtual reality.

“It enables them to lose themselves and escape to an idyllic landscape of opalescent orbs, wacky pink doughnuts, sunsets and warm beaches from the comfort of W London.”

Jack Sears, asset manager at REI (pictured above with Georgia), said: “We are thrilled to have assisted Georgia in her efforts to create and launch this exciting Advena experience, and we can’t wait to try it out.

“In the cut and thrust of the commercial property world, it’s occasionally very important to take a step back and provide space for creative artists to produce such exciting work.”

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