One for Sorrow

One for Sorrow
An immersive interactive exploration of audio and visual expression in a virtual reality world

Thursday May 25 – Sunday May 28, 2023
Beaver Hall Art Gallery, 29 McCaul St. Toronto
Free. Limited timed entry. For info:

The Adventure So Far. This project began some years ago as a “what if” proposition. David McClyment was exhibiting a series of large drawings, “Dreaming I Was A Crow Dreaming”. The emphasis was on the materiality of hand crafted images made from charcoal on paper. Lynne Heller, an artist experienced in the digital generation of imagery, asked “What would the experience of these be if they were set in a virtual reality (VR) environment?” Neither knew much about VR, but the adventure beckoned.

Starting out they determined that the project would not be goal oriented. Rather an open-ended exploration of what could be achieved in a collision of 2D physicality and 3D representation. Would the dynamic between the two sensibilities cancel each other out, or would it lead to an expansive dialogue revealing new understandings of both? Even before engaging the technology, both artists recognized what they didn’t want: a predictable VR environment where attention to superficial detail dominated. Rather they wanted to emphasize the tactile: allow the VR adventurer to encounter unexpected clashes of creative sensibilities and re-evaluate their assumptions of what an image could be or should do.

Early on Heller and McClyment recognized that the audible environment in such a world would be as important as the visual impact. Enter Ted Carrick, a musician and soundscape designer. The aural and visual began a nuanced dance opening up new paths of exploration.

The project took on its own trajectory. Hours of speculation and conceptualization preceded any technical realization. Early thoughts of a reward driven, game mechanism were abandoned. Rather, the adventurer would be given as much agency as possible in making choices of their own.

“What if…? What if…? What if…?” continues. This current engagement merely represents where the creative exploration has led so far. The adventure continues.
Stay tuned.

The title “One For Sorrow” refers to the traditional playground rhyme: “one crow for sorrow, two for a boy…” One of the many launching points for this project.

Project Leads

Ted Carrickcomposer, sound design; conceptualization
A York University music graduate and current freelance composer, Ted uses his time scoring multimedia projects from film to video games and writing music for both himself and for audience enjoyment. His three recent album releases, “The Spotting Session”, “Ideas & Explorations” and “Experiment 33”, and EP release “SCION”, represent his musical universe and the genre-melding musical vision he has when composing, (all available on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, etc.). Fusing popular music genres with advanced producing techniques, he identifies as a musical innovator who is only looking to grow as he continues to write, especially within the realm of virtual reality and immersive music.

Lynne HellerVR design, project admin, conceptualization
Lynne is a post-disciplinary artist, designer, educator and academic. Her interests encompass both material and virtual culture, specifically AR/VR performance, graphic novels, digital collage and sculptural installation. Heller completed her MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004 and her PhD in 2016 at University College Dublin, Ireland. Her research was practice-based, with a specialty in feminism and Digital Media Arts. She is an Adjunct Professor at OCAD University, co-director of the Data Materialization Studio, Affiliate Member of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto and Reviews Editor of Virtual Creativity.

David McClymentoriginal drawings; conceptualization
David has been obsessively drawing for almost 70 years, and professionally for over 40 years. He has exhibited primarily in the GTA, but also throughout Ontario and across Europe. His work has been the focus of many grants from all levels of government. McClyment has shown his work in commercial co-operatives, public galleries, artist-run centres and commercial galleries, as well as organizing his own initiatives. He is currently a member of Red Head Gallery, an artists’ co-op in Toronto. McClyment is inspired daily by his long-time reason for living, Sue Bracken, and their multi-talented son, Jaimie.

Team Contributors

Dimitri LevanoffImage Foundry – digital capture
Cesar MaestreVR programming, visual effects
Antônio Mozellipreliminary prototype development
Bohdan Ruzyckypreliminary prototype development
Sashar Zarifvocals; conceptualization

Institutional Contributors

The Story Arts Centre, Centennial College
The Ontario College of Art and Design University

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.