Brisbane treated to world-first Marvel exhibition featuring never-before-seen displays

Brisbane treated to world-first Marvel exhibition featuring never-before-seen displays
- 27th May 2017

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Nicolas Pougnet and son Lucas, 4, visit the Marvel exhibition at GOMA. Photo: Lisa Maree Williams

by Toby Crockford

Visitors to the Gallery of Modern Art were treated to a world exclusive on Saturday, as never-before-seen Marvel memorabilia went on display in Brisbane.

More than half of the pieces on display had not been viewed publicly before and the accompanying interactive exhibits were created using Marvel's original archives.

Curator of Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe, Amanda Slack-Smith, said "it was all hands on deck" at GOMA for the last 12 months to create the exhibition.

Queues of visitors stretched beyond the main doors at times during opening morning, with both fans and the general public intrigued by the world-first display.

Ms Slack-Smith said she was pleased with the response, after the amount of work that had gone into securing and constructing the exhibition.

"It has been fantastic and it's just what you want ... when you put this much effort and passion into creating something, you want people to come and enjoy it," she said.

The exhibit used the entire ground-floor of GOMA and Ms Slack-Smith said the experience of working with Marvel had been "excellent".

"They were really open to talking through ideas with us ... and they were up for pretty much everything we suggested, as long as the characters and narratives remained accurate."

Ms Slack-Smith said the display featured "beautiful" original artwork as well as props from the various franchises, including Iron Man suits and the curator's favourite, a model of Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy.

In addition to the Marvel memorabilia, there were also interactive exhibits on offer, which were created by a team from the Queensland University of Technology.

Director of Hub Studio at QUT's school of design, Dr Deb Polson, said her team of recent graduates had created three interactive pieces for the display.

She said it was an "amazing thrill" for the team to spend about six months working on a "top secret" Marvel project straight from university.

"We thought we captured the idea of creating something novel and something easy for groups to engage with," Dr Polson said.

The interactives incorporated into the exhibit included three virtual mirrors, where visitors selected their favourite Marvel character and through the use of sensors, their selected hero mimicked their movements.

There was also a database of the entire Marvel universe, which allowed users to explore and find similarities between their favourite characters, films and comics.

Visitors could also connect to a mobile website and search for various codes throughout the exhibit to discover information about the corresponding artefact as well as when it first appeared in the Marvel universe.

"One of the reasons why galleries like interactives is because they create active participation in the content," Dr Polson said.

"I think it's a really important way of feeling connected to the content and artistry behind the Marvel creations. It also creates an emotional connection between visitors and their favourite characters."

Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe will be on display at GOMA until September 3. More information and tickets can be found here.

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(Fairfax Media)