Jess Johnson and Simon Ward


4 Sep –
21 Nov 2021

Commissioned by the National Gallery of Australia, in partnership with The Balnaves Foundation, TERMINUS is a ground-breaking virtual reality exhibition by New Zealand based artists Jess Johnson and Simon Ward. 

TERMINUS takes the form of a mysterious universe of alien architecture populated by humanoid clones and cryptic symbols to be explored via a network of travellators and gateways. This is a mesmerising experience based on drawings by Johnson, transformed from analogue into digital by Ward, and set to a musical score by composer Andrew Clarke.

When TERMINUS was first presented in Canberra in 2018 it was described as ‘an experience that left visitors with their mouths hanging open’. This is the first time that a virtual reality exhibition has been presented in far north Queensland and the Gallery is thrilled to be part of its national tour.

TERMINUS involves the use of virtual reality headsets which are cleaned throughout the day.
Disposable masks are available for guests wishing to use them.


  • TERMINUS includes five VR experiences, which are each approximately 5:30 minutes in duration. 

  • No bookings are required, however as each experience is individual you may find there is a short wait before you can begin your quest.

  • To ensure a COVID safe environment, 1 virtual reality experience is available per visitor every 20 minutes.  You are welcome to return as many times as you like.

  • The equipment is not designed for users under the age of 12, however children are welcome to try an Experience with adult supervision, (adults may not be on their own experience if supervising children)


A National Gallery of Australia Touring Exhibition made possible with the support of Visions of Australia. National Gallery of Australia Curator: Jaklyn Babington.


The Cairns Art Gallery acknowledges the Gimuy Walubarra Yidinji and Yirrganydji as the Traditional Owners of the area today known as Cairns. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, names or voices of deceased persons in photographs, film or text.