Jonathan Hook - HCI Researcher


Repentir is an augmented reality iPhone app that allows gallery vistors to reveal hidden layers of a painting. Using the app, you can take a photo of an area of a painting to browse previous versions of that area of the painting, which the artist captured over the course of its creation.

The aim of the project is to explore notions of authenticity and originality, by exposing the skillful, complex and prolonged creative process of the contemporary realist painter Nathan Walsh to gallery visitors who would otherwise only see his finished paintings.

Repentir is being developed as part of the EPSRC Digital Originals Project, in collaboration with Jo Briggs (Northumbria University), Nathan Walsh (Artist), Mark Blythe (Northumbria University) and Patrick Olivier.

Try it out!

If you would like to try out Repentir, you can install the app onto your iPhone or iPad (iOS version 6.1 or greater). To install the app, either search for "Repentir" on the iTunes App Store or take a photo of the QR code. Once you've installed the app, you can either take a photo of Nathan's real painting at the Bernarducci Meisel Gallery in New York or a print of the painting, to reveal the hidden layers beneath its surface.


Hook, J., Briggs, J., Blythe, M., Walsh, N. and Olivier, P. Repentir: Digital Exploration Beneath the Surface of an Oil Painting. In Ext. Abs. of CHI'13, ACM, 2947-2950. Download