'Persona' is an interactive visual art exhibition created by lens-based artist Martin Maguire in collaboration with That’s Life art makers with intellectual disabilities.
The exhibition explores the idea of perceived identity and the layers that exist between us and another individual, often populated with bias, preconceptions, and assumptions. Persona looks to question what is it like to truly see another human being and what is revealed when we take the time to see past the ‘character’ or ‘archetype’ that we have assigned.
Through direct collaboration, the participants were involved in interpreting characters from Greek mythology through costume and performance of their own making. The work was a response to their chosen alter ego, or persona, which they helped create and design.
Using augmented reality the portraits appeared on demand as spectators interacted with the work via smart devices. The interactive portraits showed That’s Life participants in their natural state making various physical gestures and poses, while spectators revealed in real time the alter ego/new persona chosen and designed by the individuals themselves.
We were asked to create the visual identity for the exhibition, along with promotional materials, and exhibition graphics. We created a series of typographic wordmarks to reflect the perceptions of identity and reality, with a system of widening and condensing letterforms, changing with each iteration. A bold pattern characterised the augmented experience of revealing each character and referenced the textile patterns of the costume design, limited to black and white to contrast with the layered portraits.