Creative Close Up

Creative Close Up – Dreaming Methods

Blue background with the word Creative Close Up repeated and a circle in the middle with a stag stood in a library
Creative Close Up is a new feature series taking a closer look at the amazing work of the creatives who live and work in our district and beyond. This month we showcase the work of Wakefield based studio Dreaming Methods.

Dreaming Methods is a studio that creates immersive and compelling fictional experiences through VR (Virtual Reality), film, digital art, and games, often with a focus on writing and literacy. It was set up by digital artist and writer Andy Campbell in 1999 as an online platform to share his digital writing and poetry. It soon gained traction particularly within academic audiences in the US and Europe as an interest in digital storytelling began.

In 2003 after Andy had been working with Judi Alston at arts organisation One to One Development Trust for several years, Dreaming Methods became One to One’s ‘experimental in-house studio’. It gave a focus to develop and test out ways of storytelling that would benefit community projects and raise the bar in immersive technology, whilst continuing to build its own strong portfolio. Eighteen years later, Andy and Judi, supported by the Board of Trustees at One to One Development Trust agreed that Dreaming Methods would become an independent studio.

Dreaming Methods is now run by Directors Andy Campbell and Judi Alston and has become a place where the duo can explore and develop their own creative practice as well as collaborate with other artists. Based at The Art House, Dreaming Methods are proud of their Wakefield base and are committed to develop opportunities for exciting new immersive storytelling within the district.

In 2023, they were awarded funding from XR Stories to create The Abandoned Library – an ambitious story of displacement, climate change and artificial intelligence. The project launched at The Art House in a three week physical exhibition/installation that ran with family workshops in creative writing. Following the exhibition, Dreaming Methods were awarded a commission to create an artwork from The Abandoned Library for the hoardings outside WX (The Old Market Hall).

A woman looks onto an abandoned library

The Abandoned Library VR film has recently been officially selected for Bolton Film Festival, Aesthetica Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Awards, and won an Athens Film Award for ‘Technical Excellence’. It was also shown in November at the prestigious international conference Beyond at the Royal Institution, London.

The Abandoned Library like a lot of Dreaming Methods’ work has refined its own genre, blending game design and realtime 3D graphics with film, spoken word and soundscape. This is now widely defined within the creative industries as ‘XR’ (Extended Reality) – but Dreaming Methods - for twenty years! - has managed defy being labelled within one genre and enjoys pushing the boundaries in different creative fields.

Six people stood next to each other at an award ceremony receiving an award

Their latest success was winning the Game Republic 20 year anniversary Award for ‘The Most Innovative Use of Technology’. This event took place at Tileyard North in November.

Creating digital stories for physical exhibitions, public events and festivals has been an important part of Dreaming Methods’ creative offer in 2023 and one which they hope to expand on for 2024 for Our Year where they are planning events to show The Abandoned Library, and to create new work throughout the year.

You can find more out about Dreaming Methods by visiting the following links: