The Illusionaries: Memories Of A Dead Poet

The Illusionaries: Memories Of A Dead Poet
A new immersive media space in Canary Wharf, The Illusionaries presents ‘Memories Of A Dead Poet’ by Artist and Buddhist Monk Arash Irandoust. A 40 minute trip through a digital triptych, journey through the heart of an enlightened mind, sparking fundamental questions that might redefine your worldview.


Arash Irandoust is an Iranian artist with an eclectic background – featuring experiences of monastic life, advertising, and training as an industrial engineer, alongside a raw talent for photography and film. Today he lives and works as an animator and creative advisor in Finland. This is the first offering from the Illusionaries, co-founded by the group’s creative director Salar Nouri, a filmmaker and 3D animator, who has brought his expertise to the expanding world of immersive installation.

The exhibition is located just minutes from Canary Wharf station, across the Adams Plaza bridge which has been re-invented using captivating designs from Camille Walala. Known for her playful shapes and geometric patterns, the linear path across this kaleidoscopic colour wheel has been formulated to stimulate different moods, in response to the various shades created by its translucent surface. It’s enough to make you wonder why the streets are routinely paved with grey, instead of neon pink.


The Epilogue

In The Realm Of Hearts, Greed’s Seed Breeds. Conflict’s Flame Ignites, Humanity Bleeds…

A room filled entirely with a 360-degree projection introducing you to the central characters, this macabre scene is a surreal new take on some classical styles. Just as the immersive digital space promises to be a world away from stuffy, static galleries, the ‘multi-sensory art odyssey’ aims to engulf mind, body and spirit – whole.

Born in an unknown environment characterised by intriguing visuals, a series of struggles and conflicts arise as the protagonist moves through his surroundings, forcing audiences to contemplate themes of greed, jealousy, fear, and competition. This section of the story unravels in a beautifully crafted fifteen-minute sequence of custom two-dimensional animation.

While many spaces are resurrecting popular figures such as Monet, Van Gogh and Klimt, the USP of the Illusionaries is that each piece is bespoke, created by contemporary, digital-first artisans. Seeking to inject new narratives into a traditional space using modern methods, storytelling (albeit often non-linear and abstract), is a crucial element of the show.

Arash is an unconventional artist and storyteller, approaching art from a philosophical perspective by drawing from his diverse range of experiences, and remoulding them to fit the digital dimension. Through the soft focus of his software, he skilfully crafts tales that blend the inner and outer worlds, illustrating our deeply individual interpretations of this shared experience.


Before The Meaning Comes

In The Tree’s Embrace, Forgiveness Prevails Amidst Our Greed, Her Compassion Unveils. Realise Oneness, Liberation Entails. 

Mottled infinity mirrors line this re-birthing room, which journeys from concept to construct. As visitors move beyond the ordinary, they are enveloped in thought-provoking sensations that challenge their perspectives by stimulating a dialogue with their inner selves. Each component of this hypnotic work has been intricately curated with different themes for audiences to unravel.

Bringing questions of life and death to the fore, in this part of the story, reflections act as a window to the epic exploration of memory, connection, and kinship. Here, visitors are the co-curators of these nimble tales, as they seek out hidden truths within its watery walls; yet the voyage still promises to be filled with moments of surprise, as well as contemplation, joy, introspection, and awe.

Using Dolby Atmos sound technology, the Illusionaries have created a sensory spectacle that reverberates throughout its surroundings, gently guiding you within and between rooms. Traversing land, sea and air, it’s sure to leave you breathless, but not lifeless.


Primordial Gardeners

Behind Cloud’s Veil, Mirror Conceals. Yet The Divine’s Essence Forever Reveals. 

Embrace the mist of this mystical paradise; an altogether more intimate experience, it uses tranquil sounds and light projections to pierce through the veil, delivering you to the story’s beginning and end. Sitting on pebbled cushions surrounded by small stones, its ASMR-feel soothes the eerie undertones of the grand finale. In this ethereal atmosphere, audiences are encouraged to decompress and reconnect, providing the opportunity to look inwards and reconfigure settings.


“Memories of a Dead Poet is a tale told in three parts, born out of an interest in the universal nature of the human experience, and taking inspiration from the stories and emotions that connect us. This exhibition will take visitors on a journey of discovery, and I am honoured to unveil my work at Crossrail Place.” – Arash Irandoust