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Artist Mic Rees stands in front of the new exhibit reimaging Annabella Boswells archives recently installed at Port Macquarie Museum. Photo supplied

The Port Macquarie Museum opened a new digital exhibit earlier this year reimaging Annabella Boswell’s archives. “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.”  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.

After looking at all the high resolution archival scans of the diaries, notes and artwork Mic decided to re-tell Annabella’s story through her wonderful pieces of artwork using animation. “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 privilege to present and bring together this amazing body of historical work in a way that hasn’t been seen before. ”

The project was part of Museums & Galleries of NSW’s Let’s Get Digital initiative, proudly supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW as part of Arts Restart. The initiative was aimed at supporting small to medium galleries and museums to consider new strategies for digital engagement and to develop skills and resources to integrate digital experiences in future programming.

Old Books New Looks is shown to visitors on a large wall screen at the Port Macquarie Museum, 22 Clarence Street, Port Macquarie.

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