The Portal Galleries: the backstage


Space Popular talk about the "The Portal Galleries" with Alcantara backstage.

LondonOctober 2022

Portals: the concept

From ordinary doors and holes-in-the-wall to futuristic machines, books, cars and natural elements, portals have been around us for decades and are very common in mainstream media. We read about them in books, think for example about Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland and The Chronicle of Narnia; see them on the screen, the renowned Back to the Future, recent Thor and family film Coraline and even traverse them in games.


These magical thresholds defy the laws of physics and can instantly send a person across time, space or even other dimensions.

Portals are one of the most popular means to switch from one environment to another and they will likely become the go-to reference for virtual travel.
Our interest in these sparked back when we were students and we were ‘travelling’ in time and space thanks to literature and films.


Space Popular and Alcantara

We are fascinated by this world that allows each individual to step into new unchartered realities and expand horisons. We were determined to find a way to make this accessible to everyone and we found it in The Portal Galleries, showcased at The Soane’s Museum in London in collaboration with our creative partner Alcantara. This marked the second time we partnered with Alcantara (last one was for the Decoding at Royal Palace).

We’re proud to present ‘The Portal Galleries’, that showcases the results of our two-year long research during which we’ve studied over 900 entries among fictions, books, films and the evolution of the concept “portal” over years.

An immersive experience

Visitors are taken on a journey in time and space to learn about their evolution, on a fully interactive and immersive show that thanks to the use of VR and Alcantara, that thanks to its soft texture and endless possibilities in terms of colours and patterns, allows visitors to delve into a parallel world.

Visitors will be able to discover some of the most famous portals such as the one in Alice in Wonderland (1865); the car in Back to the Future and also the train platform 9 ¾ from Harry Potter. A show that will take visitor back in history, back to the world wars, the industrialisation period and the start of globalisation.

“We are fascinated by the technical, sensory and aesthetic qualities and endless possibilities offered by Alcantara material and its potential to be the canvas and portal to our virtual experiences”

Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg, Space Popular.

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