Whispers: A digital art show that takes inspiration from a favourite childhood game

All images courtesy of Barbara Ryan

This summer, Amsterdam art director Barbara Ryan was supposed to hold an exhibition in the Dutch capital featuring artworks by 50 creatives, until Covid-19 had other plans. But all was not lost, as she's since transformed the show into a sequential art game, made in quarantine.

Working with designer and developer Ben West, Barbara has launched Whispers, a digital chain of fifty interlinked original artworks, each inspired by the previous. It's much like the popular children's game where players form a line, and the first player comes up with a message and whispers it to the ear of the second person in the line and so forth until the final message is compared with the original.

For Whispers, participating artists could take as much or as little inspiration from the previous image as they wanted to. The result is a series of artworks that morph into one another, picking up and often shedding different themes along the way.

"Three years ago, I started this project as an experiment in 'slow-ness'," Barbara tells Creative Boom. "The world today moves at a million miles an hour; projects are often expected to be finished before they're even started. I wanted to start something that would move slow enough to avoid being wrapped up in trends, and one that wouldn't be posted on Instagram the second it was finished."

She adds: "This project is proof of how collaborative work can be made in isolation and also how creativity can connect us all. It's a strange time, but I think it's interesting to see what will happen in terms of creativity."