Jeweller Lisa Walker invites the public into her studio, through virtual reality headseats at Te Papa’s Toi Art Gallery.The future of art galleries is here.

Te Papa’s Toi Art Gallery has a host of artworks to explore, including a virtual reality aspect which its creator hoped would become more common in New Zealand galleries.

Jeweller Lisa Walker’s exhibition, I want to go to my room but I can’t be bothered includes a virtual reality tour of the Wellington artist’s studio.

VR is being explored as a way to open up art to anyone coming through the gallery, allowing them to step into an artist’s studio and see the creative process.

I Want to Experience founder Brian Goodwin visited Walker’s studio to film the artist as she told stories about her work.

“It’s about seeing through the eyes of Lisa Walker. We want to go ‘who is she, how does she think?’,” Goodwin said.

Since the VR experience was launched, more than 3000 people have taken a virtual step into Walker’s world and looked around her studio.

From stories on her artworks, to where she gets pounamu from and how she uses her goldsmithing bench, people are fascinated by both the technology and the story behind her art.

“We’re at the beginning of a new technology. VR offers opportunities for all people to travel everywhere and do all sorts of things.”

The VR experience contained about 35 minutes of content, he said. Within it, people could look around and focus on certain items or area. A small video clip would start playing, with Walker explaining a little bit about what the person was seeing.

As she talked, people could look around her studio and get a feel for what her creative space was like.

I Want to Experience was a graduate of Te Papa’s Mahuki technology accelerator programme and Goodwin hoped to continue working with the museum, covering more of its exhibitions and artworks.

He said the virtual reality technology was developing at a fast pace and could be used to see through the eyes of the creators.

“If you think about VR as a medium, that’s going to expand. It’s going to be part of our reality. It crosses the distance barrier and the time barrier.”

Curator Justine Olsen said the virtual reality added another dimension to the exhibition.

“It opens up the artist practice. We see the final products on display but when you enter the studio, you see the way the artist thinks.”