An innovative new exhibition opens at St Pauls Cathedral
on 14th July 2010. Oculus: an eye into St Pauls uses state-of-the-art projection technology to immerse visitors in the fascinating stories and history of this iconic landmark.
The first project of its kind in a cathedral, Oculus is a 270° film experience that brings 1400 years of history to life. Located in the atmospheric former Treasury in the crypt, Oculus takes visitors to Saxon London amidst the construction of the first St Pauls in 604AD, through the buildings on the site that have fallen to fire and disrepair, before showing them the Great Fire of 1666 and the devastation of London during the Blitz when St Pauls became a lasting symbol of strength, survival and hope.
In Oculus visitors will also discover the life of the cathedral; experiencing St Pauls as a vibrant church in the heart of a cosmopolitan city where worship forms the heartbeat and rhythm of our day.
Two virtual access films open up areas of the cathedral that visitors with mobility issues might not otherwise reach. The first film flies visitors through the world-famous dome; whisking them up to the Whispering Gallery before enjoying panoramic views across London from the Golden Gallery. A second film reveals Wrens room-sized Great Model; 4 metre-high projections take visitors into the interior of the model and reveal its beauty in close-up detail.
Oculus is set within a timeline spanning 1400 years of history and interspersed between the films are timeline sequences in which images and dates float across the screens - encouraging moments of stillness and reflection.
The Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, Dean of St Pauls Cathedral said: We are immensely proud of this new project which communicates the cathedrals story in such imaginative and creative ways. We hope that through this experience our visitors will learn more about the cathedrals history and also discover more about the daily life of a vibrant working church.
Martin Stancliffe, Surveyor to the Fabric of St Pauls Cathedral said: Now all our visitors - including those who cannot manage the stairs can see the view from the top of the dome. And to penetrate the interior of the Great Model gives a spectacular insight into Wrens original vision for the cathedral