Murals depicting the hidden history of Ballarat's laneways and heritage sites will come to life as visitors to the Ballarat Winter Festival charge their phones and use digital technology to get a new insight on city life.
A series of six large murals have been installed around the city and they have a hidden side that animates through augmented reality.
Samantha Thompson's mural Seize the Day tells the history of its location, Police Lane, with the sombre colours of the artwork overtaken by bright skulls, birds and other animations when viewed through the Eye Jack app.
"I designed this piece around the fact that Police Lane was originally a morgue cart lane used to take dead bodies down to the police station," Ms Thompson said.
"It made me think about the last journeys that people make, made me a bit sentimental and reflect about how short life is ... then added a little bit of fun with skulls and bright animations for the kids.
"If you walk past it's a normal art piece, but put the phone up and it comes to life in different dimension."
Ms Thompson has not used animation in her artwork before, so she's had to learn a new skill to be part of the Activated Art Walk.
Her piece is one of six around town, with the others to be found at the Queen Alexandra Bandstand, McKenzie St, Titanic Memorial bandstand, Grenville St and Town Hall Lane.
Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh said the Activated ArtWalk would encourage people to get out and about in the winter holidays and "celebrate the chill of Ballarat".
"Our beautiful heritage city is made for winter, and the Activated ArtWalk gives visitors the chance to see our streets, laneways and buildings in a whole new way," she said.
"It's about encouraging us to look at the stories beneath the surface of our city and of the people who lived here. So rug up, get your phone ready and start exploring our city this Ballarat Winter Festival."
Cr McIntosh said merging art with technology gave visitors extra reason to celebrate the city as a living canvas, and was the first example of the Creative City Strategy in action.
"What we've done is embed creative thinking and skills into this year's Ballarat Winter Festival by engaging local creatives and providing them an opportunity to experience, develop and advance their skills in augmented reality," she said.
Visitors can pick up a copy of the Activated ArtWalk map at the town hall or view it online at ballaratwinterfestival.com.au. Activating the murals requires visitors to download the EyeJack app on their smartphone and select the Ballarat Activated ArtWalk Tab. Murals can be viewed until July 28.
The Ballarat Winter Festival kicks off on Saturday June 29. View the program at ballaratwinterfestival.com.au.
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