Published on 11/07/17

Thresholds Exhibition 2017

Conceived and developed by Mat Collishaw and the late Pete James, Thresholds re-staged one of the earliest exhibitions of photography which took place in 1839 when British scientist William Henry Fox Talbot presented his photographic prints to the public at King Edward’s School in Birmingham. The experience was fully immersive with visitors walking freely through a digitally reconstructed room, picking up exhibits, avoiding the occasional mouse running across the floor and warming themselves on the open fire in the fireplace.

The soundscape for Thresholds included the sound of demonstrations of the Chartist protesters who rioted in 1839 on the streets of Birmingham, and who can be glimpsed through the digital ‘windows’. Alongside the exhibition visitors can view rare material from The King Edwards Foundation Archive as well as a series of new works by sculptor and installation artist Cornelia Parker. 

This short video gives you an insight into the Thresholds experience.

Colmore BID were early sponsors and promoters of the Thresholds project We have now been shortlisted for a British BIDs award and you can vote for us in the Place Marketing category.


Colmore BID was an early sponsor and promoter of Thresholds. The BID invested £25,000 early as we support innovation and activity in the District, especially that founded on the fascinating heritage of the area.  The investment allowed the project producers to seek other funding with the security of a serious commitment from Colmore BID.

Colmore BID hosted a VIP event on 12 July 2017 to encourage people from businesses within the District to visit the exhibition and experience this new technology translating our past heritage.

Quotes from people who experienced Thresholds included:

“This is an amazing experience. I am 69 years old. In 1948 no one could have imagined this”

“Mind blowing. Impossible to describe – had to be experienced. Cannot really start to appreciate what Virtual Reality is. Thank you so much for enabling me to begin to understand”.