A new virtual reality experience will open at Lion Salt Works Museum on 01 December 2017 as part of the museum’s collaboration with renowned dancer and choreographer, Martin Hylton.

Funded by Arts Council England’s Museum Resilience Fund, Salt is a fully immersive dance piece, presented in 360° virtual reality, reflecting the gruelling work that was involved in producing salt at the UK’s only remaining open-pan salt works.

Part of Meeting Point2, a year-long project led by contemporary art agency Arts&Heritage that sees artists partner with museums in Yorkshire, the North West and the North East to produce new artworks inspired by the museums and their collections, Salt gives visitors the chance to step into the artwork for a truly unique experience.

Chorographer Martin Hylton said: “Looking at the archive material at Lion Salt Works Museum, I was really struck by the movement and physical, hard work involved in raking the salt from the pans.

“The process the workers went through really lends itself to choreography and dance; the laboured and heavy movement involved in ‘skimming’ the salt into tubs.

“The piece I’ve created reflects that hard, physical work and by filming it in 360° virtual reality, the viewer can be completely immersed in the moment. People will get a sense of what it would have been like to work in the factory.”

Visitors to the exhibition will be provided with a virtual reality headset to view the dance piece which is set inside a salt pan. Dancing in water, representing the brine used in the salt making process, dancers capture the physicality of the manufacturing process whilst bringing Lion Salt Works Museum’s unique heritage to life.

One of the four historic open-pan salt-making sites in the world and recognised as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, Lion Salt Works Museum opened as a major visitor attraction in 2015 following a £10m restoration and redevelopment. It tells the story of salt through fun, interactive displays including a sound and light show, a ‘subsiding house’ and an automaton.


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