William Blake’s Cottage Virtual Tour
This virtual tour allows the visitor to explore the garden and interior of the cottage in Felpham, West Sussex, where William and Catherine Blake lived between the Septembers of 1800 and 1803.
Using 360 degree photography, the tour provides an immersive experience that can be viewed in the exhibition via virtual reality goggles.
There are six viewing zones in the tour: four rooms and the stairwell inside the house, and the garden.
The tour is a Big Blake Project initiative, based in Felpham, Bognor Regis.
Rachel Searle produced the tour, with Photographer/Editor Jason Hedges and Blake scholar Naomi Billingsley, the Virtual Tour's Curator. It was jointly funded by Big Blake and a grant from West Sussex County Council and Arun District Council.
Each zone is populated with images from Blake’s works. Those inside the house are all related to his time in Felpham; those in the garden reflect Blake’s interest in the pastoral.
Each zone also features musical settings of Blake’s poetry, composed by Lucien Posman, by kind permission of the composer.
An introduction to each zone explains the theme and its relevance to Blake’s time in Felpham. Viewers can also read more about selected images that appear in each zone.
The tour provides a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the world of Blake, and to learn about his time in Felpham, and his art and ideas.
“In my academic work, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Blake’s images in an analytical way. I really enjoyed engaging with his designs in more playful and creative ways for this project. It was an interesting challenge to come up with a scheme that could simultaneously be visually impressive and tell a story about Blake’s time in Felpham. Jason did a brilliant job of explaining what would work and working my ideas into the tour. Lucien’s music is a wonderful addition to the tour that enhances the immersive experience.” – Naomi Billingsley
Rachel Searle is founder of Big Blake Project and Blake enthusiast.
Jason Hedges is founder of Immersive Design and a newspaper photojournalist at a national level.
Naomi Billingsley is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Manchester, who researches British Art of the Romantic Period. She is currently finishing a book about Blake’s images of Christ. She was living and working in Chichester when she curated the virtual tour.
Lucien Posman is a Belgian classical composer. He has composed many settings of Blake’s poems. ‘A golden string’ was highly commended in the Blake Society’s 2012 Tithe Grant.