Digital art and nature!

Local artist, Tom Milnes, and Arts University Plymouth have created a brand new piece of art as part of the Green Minds Creative Commissions project. The artwork ‘Ashnihilation’ is an exciting performative and interactive work. Through the use of augmented reality glasses, participants will watch 3D animated creatures populating the real-life Hoe and Smeaton’s Tower, in a guided experience which enables them to visualise and imagine a world in which Plymouth Hoe is ‘rewilded’. In addition to the digital augmented reality experience, participants will get to meet the artist and find out more about Green Minds. Look out for the amazing bug creature costumes too, as produced by students from AUP’s BA Costume programme.

Over the coming months, Tom will be working with groups across the city to test out the technology, and encourage people to engage with their surroundings and nature around them in a different way...

More information on the artwork

The concept stems from the issue of “Ash dieback”, a disease affecting the Ash tree. A number of local plants, insects, and bird species are reliant upon Ash trees, which help support a healthy natural environment all around us. The purpose of the work is to engage audiences with the immediate effects of “Ash dieback” upon certain local species.

This work was commissioned through Green Minds (funded by the EDRF/Urban Innovation Actions) and created in conjunction with Plymouth City Council, Arts University Plymouth and Devon Wildlife Trust .

If you have any questions please contact artist Tom Milnes at or if you would like to volunteer at these events, scroll down to find out more!

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Volunteer at Ashnihilation!

Stewards needed

Arts University Plymouth (formally Plymouth College of Art) is looking for volunteers to help us at some art events on Plymouth Hoe as part of the Green Minds project.

If you are interested in environmental issues, creative technology, culture, performance, and are interested in volunteering we would love to hear from you. Even if you have no experience in these areas but are curious after reading our proposal, please get in touch as a full briefing will be provided by the artist before each session.

This is an exciting opportunity to be part of an experimental art project that uses the latest creative technology to highlight local environmental issues.

The Project

The artwork ‘Ashnihilation’ is an exciting work by artist Tom Milnes. Through the use of augmented reality glasses, participants will watch 3D animated creatures populating the real-life Hoe and Smeaton’s Tower. This experience will allow members of the public (to be part of an imaginary world where Plymouth Hoe is rewilded; of course all volunteers get a chance to test the augmented reality glasses themselves too.

Volunteer Call out

We are looking for volunteers to:

  • Steward the events on the Hoe.
  • Give out lanyards and pamphlets to participants (max 20 people attending).
  • Support the experience of the public that are signed up to the event.
  • Answer questions from curious bystanders.
  • Make sure that everyone in the group has a chance to try out the augmented reality glasses (there are 3 pairs of augmented reality glasses to be shared between 10-20 members of the public per session).

There is also an opportunity to wear one of the amazing bug costumes (headpieces) created by AUP students - we understand that not everyone is comfortable with this so you can stipulate in advance if this is something you would like to do or if you would rather not.

The times are at 'twilight' on Plymouth Hoe, so the early dates will start at 7:30pm, by October this will be 7pm; this will be communicated with volunteers and audiences for each performance. The performance itself lasts an hour but we would need volunteers to be available for up to an hour either side to help set up/pack up, try out the glasses, and be briefed by the artist (present at all sessions).

We are looking for 5-6 volunteers per session and ideally would like volunteers to commit to a minimum of three sessions.


September performances: 7th, 12th, 14th, 19th, 21st, 20th, 26th, 28th

October performances: 3rd, 5th, and 8th.

AUP will refund reasonable travel expenses for volunteers.

If you have any questions or to express interest in volunteering with us please contact artist Tom Milnes at