Willow Court back to life

NEW Norfolk’s Willow Court will soon be home to a virtual reality experience designed to breathe more life into the precinct.

Developed in partnership with Willow Court Asylum Tours, Historical Information Centre, Derwent Valley Council, and artist Jose Garcia, the experience will form part of the family-owned New Norfolk Distillery’s planned production facility and bond store.

Distillery director Tarrant Derksen said the group wanted locals and tourists to engage with the historical space in a new and exciting way.

“The vision is to have an increase of visitors look at the exterior of the buildings and form a connection between the past, present, place, and people of Willow Court,” Mr Derksen said.
“The virtual reality will have components that are interactive and will feature photographed artifacts with explanations, stories from inside the asylum, and the ability to investigate some of the detail of the remaining fabric.
“This technology will also interact with the building’s interiors as a type of augmented reality for the user, so people can stand in a position on their phone and look at the buildings as they once were.

“The only way currently to see the spaces is through a paranormal tour with Willow Court Asylum Tours and we are aiming to expand and enhance this experience through education and imagination.
“We are also working to preserve the heritage of the building by having detailed photography of the buildings taken before we commence any construction at the site.
“We aim to remain accurate and faithful to the reality of architecture we are working with so as not to be misleading in our virtual reality design.’’

Artist Jose Garcia said he was honoured to transform and create an everlasting space within Willow Court.

“I intend to be authentic and unique as to respect the historically unique area in which I will be working within,’’ he said.
“I endeavour to create an art piece which the viewer can interpret to their heart’s content and explore the way in which they see the space.”