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QR codes in Scottish art make their way into Union Gallery

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Trevor Jones, QR Code Art

The smartphone barcodes will be a part of an abstract art exhibition in the Edinburgh landmark.

Technology and QR codes are an increasingly popular in Scotland as well as around the world, so their inclusion in a recent abstract art exhibition at the Union Gallery located on Broughton Street in Edinburgh.

Trevor Jones, a local artist from the Scottish capital city, is the man behind the artwork.

The artist’s pieces consist of abstract paintings that can also be used as QR codes, which are fully functional. When viewers with smartphones scan the barcodes, they are directed to a website about the Union Gallery exhibition. This provides more information not only about the display itself, but also about abstract art in a more general sense.

The use of QR codes in these pieces provides a fascinating marriage of mobile technology and art.

It is yet another demonstration that the modern world can easily be connected with more traditional art forms. The artist is already building his reputation around his exceptional, high quality abstract paintings. The three new pieces that he has added to this exhibition are only adding to that, while enhancing his artwork with additional mobile friendly function.

Jones feels that the use of QR codes in art adds tremendous, obvious possibilities.

He explained that “These QR code paintings are a 21st century Pandora’s Box in that each time the painting is scanned it’s very possible something new will “pop out”. Thanks to Social Media, Twitter feeds and Facebook plugins, people can “like” and comment on the site and the artwork, and they can quickly see what others are saying about it also.”

The artist also added that he isn’t sure whether there are any other artists using QR codes, in combination with paint and social media in quite the same way, but that it is “very exciting”, regardless.

There have been a few examples around the world of quick response barcodes being incorporated into paintings and other art forms in various ways. From QR codes on stamps in the United States and France, to the “Beautiful Traps” paintings by Yiying Lu, and from the U.K. Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show bronze medal winner, to a tapestry being assembled worldwide to be unveiled right there in Scotland.

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