Jaw dropping, that is what Mat Collishaw Thresholds is.  Ground breaking, amazing all those words.  Back in 1839 William Henry Fox Talbot presented his photographic prints to the public for the first time at an exhibition at King Edward’s School in Birmingham.  Now using the wonders of virtual reality you can experience that display.

Mat Collishaw Thresholds

First of all you get kitted out with a backpack headset and earphones.   Once that’s all on you feel strangely disorientated unable to see or hear anything.

Then the lovely person who kitted you out in all the tech, murmurs reassuringly to you and leads you up the ramp.  One step over the threshold is the jaw dropping moment.

Anybody looking at you would see a woman in a white room.  What you see is …..

Thresholds, an early test visualisation ©Mat Collishaw

…. this!  Sounds start to play in you ear drawing attention to different corners of the room.  A fire roars in a grate, not only do you see the flames you feel the heat.  Mice run across the furthest reaches of the room.  The vitrines are filled with images in the manner of the early photographs.  As you are in the magic of a virtual world you don’t just peer down through the virtual glass, you can pick the photos up and examine them.

Mat Collishaw, wet colloidal print. Courtesy the artist and Blain|Southern

Thresholds was on show at Somerset House as part of Photo London

Oregon Girl Around the World


  1. May 18, 2017 / 9:31 pm

    That’s amazing! I’ve never experienced much virtual reality but I can really see the value of it in museums having read this post. We have visited Lacock where Fox Talbot took his first photo, of a window, there is a museum of photography there which is very good. When you think how far photography has come from that first photo to the camera phones of today it’s astounding. #FarawayFiles

    • Catherine
      May 18, 2017 / 9:47 pm

      Thresholds is going to visit Lacock on its tour

  2. May 19, 2017 / 6:05 am

    Wow. What an incredible experience. I was at the Hockney exhibition yesterday and I loved how he embraces technology but this is on a whole other level! Thanks for joining #FarawayFiles

  3. May 20, 2017 / 2:34 pm

    Hi Catherine, this sounds like an experience not to be missed! I think I’d love to have a go, I say think as it must be really weird too! Isn’t technology amazing!


    • Catherine
      May 20, 2017 / 3:23 pm

      At the time you accept the whole experience as ‘real’ its only afterwards that the complete deception becomes wierd

  4. May 21, 2017 / 1:54 pm

    Wow, how incredible Catherine! I’d love to do this. We saw the good exhibition about Fox Talbot at Lacock Abbey, which I think is where he used to live. Thanks for sharing this on #FarawayFiles

  5. May 23, 2017 / 10:44 pm

    WHA?!?! You can pick up the photos?!? That is crazy. What a cool experience for such a good price! Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

    • Catherine
      May 24, 2017 / 6:58 am

      It was all pretty mind blowing but oicking up the photos was the most mind boggling!

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