Let’s Get Digital – Port Macquarie

The Port Macquarie Museum has opened a new digital exhibit reimaging Annabella Boswell’s archives as part of the Let’s Get Digital initiative. Old Books New Looks is the work of Lake Cathie digital creative Mic Rees who was commissioned for the work. The exhibit is the outcome of a digital arts and creative storytelling project to reimagine, reinterpret and re-present Annabella Boswell’s artworks, letters and diaries. “Annabella Boswell’s archives are amongst the most significant items in our collection having been inscribed on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World in 2019”, says Debbie Sommers, Port Macquarie Museum curator. “We wanted to use a mix of digital art and creative practices to present Annabella Boswell’s archives to new and broader audiences, particularly young people, in an innovative, immersive and inspiring way. Mic has done a great job of achieving this.”

“Looking through all the high resolution archival scans of the diaries, notes and artwork what appealed to me right from the onset as an artisit was Annabella Boswell’s beautiful drawings, sketches and watercolours. I decided to re-tell Annabella’s story through her wonderful pieces of artwork using animation” says Mic Rees. “I chose 7 artworks to present and have made each painting appear to be redrawn using an iPad and digital pencil. Appropriate quotes from Annabella accompany each artwork. The invitation to be involved in this project was a wonderful opportunity and it is a privelege to present and bring together this amazing body of historical work in a way that hasn’t been seen before. ”

“Whilst getting digital is not new to us – we have  been getting digital for several years now with the digitisation of our archives, photographs and objects collections,  our online collections accessible and discoverable on eHive and Trove, our QR coded object labels throughout the Museum, our Izi.Travel apps for Museum. Heritage Walking and Driving tours, our online exhibitions Our Rivers Our History and Tourists Paradise, and our regular digital photograph posts on social media – the Let’s Get Digital initiative has enabled us to offer something really different to our audiences”, says Ms Sommers. “It is exciting to see our historical collections inspire and not just inform, and engage and not just entertain.”

Old Books New Looks can be viewed at the Port Macquarie Museum, 22 Clarence Street, Port Macquarie. The Museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10.00am to 4.00pm.