Lucy Boyd-Wilson is a virtual and mixed reality artist living in San Diego, CA.
Inspired by the flows and processes of natural environments, she seeks to evoke a sensation of wonder in a vibrant living world. She creates “Worlds in Motion” and places the viewer within, surrounded, enveloped. In an exploration of interactivity and immersion, she is always inquiring “What combination of stimulating and absorbing and meditative can be achieved?”
Lucy Boyd-Wilson studied Mathematics, Computer Science and Fine Arts in Montreal, and worked for many years as a software developer creating animation tools for the film industry, and then as a video-game developer. Now she works independently creating experiential and immersive art.
As a child I ran about in the fields and woods. I clambered around the roots and branches of trees and squeezed through hedges. I’d follow my cat through cat-sized tunnels in thickets and discovered her places, enclosed in the centers of dense bushes. Secret places that only I and all the other small creatures knew about. It was a tactile world. Everything was in motion and so was I.
This was how I began. And this is what I seek to express: a sense of belonging in our natural world, a world that is vibrant, complex, chaotic, resilient. But resilient only up to a point.
I create environments of motion. And my question is always: What does it feel like?
There are three key modalities by which we experience the world: Visual, Aural/Sound and Kinesthetic. Most of us are more strongly aligned with one or two of these modalities. I am kinesthetic: I am drawn to touch and motion and balance. In the experiences I create, the three modalities are equally important. My pieces derive their impact equally from:
- the visuals (color, texture, lighting, graphics…)
- the music and audio effects,
- and kinesthetic sensation.
But it is specifically to achieve the kinesthetic dimension that I use the mediums of VR and large scale displays and even physical installation.
What are the elements that contribute to a kinesthetic experience?
Scale and Immersion are important to me. I place the viewer inside an environment, rather than looking at an object or a screen. I create experiences that envelope the viewer. Peripheral vision is closely connected to our kinesthetic sense of balance.
Audio is also an important immersive modality. We can hear what is behind and around us even if we can’t see it. Audio calls our attention to look around.
Another element is the Use of our Bodies. The full-body engagement of looking all around (and up and down and behind us) to fully experience the world, is a kinesthetic sensation.
Another use of our bodies is allowing the user to reach out and interact with hand motion and gestures.
And then there is Interactivity. What happens when we reach out? How Responsive is the world? What impact do we have on the environment? What are the rhythms of the piece? The cause and effect of interacting with an environment is a kinesthetic sensation.
- Born and grew up in rural Bletchingley, Surrey, England.
- Lived in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as a teenager, with family.
- B.A. Mathematics & Computer Science, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1984
- M.Sc. Computer Science, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1987
- B.F.A. Studio Arts (part-time, incomplete), Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1988-1997. Courses included: Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Mixed Media and Digital Media.
- Lived in Montreal from 1981 to 2001, studying and then working as a graphics and animation software developer.
- Moved to San Diego, California in 2001, where she worked for many years as a video-game developer.
Now developing virtual reality and other immersive experiences.
See my LinkedIn profile for full resume: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lucy-boyd-wilson/