Virtual reality exhibit allows visitors to enter Breonna Taylor’s tulip garden, view life memories

June 5 would have marked Taylor's 29th birthday. Family and friends gathered for a brunch and day party.

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The family of Breonna Taylor is preserving her memory via an augmented reality exhibit that celebrates her life. 

As reported by the Louisville Courier-Journal, the Breonna’s Garden XR Exhibition arrived in Louisville over the weekend following a nationwide tour, including a stop at SXSW in March. June 5 would have marked Taylor’s 29th birthday, and family and friends gathered in the city Sunday for a brunch and day party where attendees experienced the exhibit. 

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Tamika Palmer, mother of Breonna Taylor, stands in front of a mural of her daughter at Jefferson Square park on September 21, 2020, in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Taylor comes alive in the project that combines mementos and portraits from her life and shows her interacting with loved ones. The virtual world also highlights Taylor’s work as an emergency medical technician. The exhibit itself boasts a garden of her favorite flowers. 

“Because of the injustice and the trauma around it, for her family, we can’t lose the memory of her life,” said Web3 artist Lady Pheønix, creative director and founder of “Breonna’s Garden,” NBC News reports.

“The news media will never let you forget … that Breonna Taylor was brutally shot. It’s our responsibility to continue to say her name and change the energy of her name out in public,” she added. 

Taylor was killed two years ago when three officers with the Louisville Metro Police Department entered her apartment and unleashed a barrage of bullets during an illegal botched raid attempt.

As reported previously by theGrio, former officer Brett Hankison, Sgt. Myles Cosgrove and Detective Jonathan Mattingly were serving a no-knock warrant at Taylor’s apartment on March 13, 2020. Taylor was living with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, at the time and he previously explained that the officers did not identify themselves as they entered the home. Dozens of bullets were fired by the officers into the apartment, killing Taylor.

A hologram of Walker appears in the virtual memorial and he shares a memory of Taylor’s favorite song, according to the report. 

Lady Phøenix co-created the Breonna’s Garden exhibit with Taylor’s sister Ju’Niyah Palmer, who wanted Taylor to exist outside of the sometimes false or negative narratives portrayed about the victim in the media. 

“This technology means that just because her physical body is no longer here does not mean that we cannot assist her in forwarding her ambitions and purpose,” Palmer said. 

The Courier-Journal notes that Breonna’s Garden allows participants to “experience Taylor’s presence at their own pace.”  

Walker and Breonna’s mother, Tamika Palmer, were among the attendees at Sunday’s brunch. 

“This is something we would have done together, you know, we would have had brunch,” Palmer said of the event. “I’m just excited for the community to finally see Breonna as she is.”

“To me, this event is a love story. A love story of two sisters, separated by violence, but reunited through a transformative justice and the tools we have available to us today,” Phøenix said. 

According to the report, Breonna’s Garden will be on display in Louisville for the next three months at the Roots 101 African American Museum, 124 N. First St.

“When everyone stops saying a name, then that person is actually dead,” Phøenix said. “Hopefully, as this technology becomes more common for families, they will start to use it almost like the new Polaroid.”

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