Artwork said to be the first of its kind in the UK has been unveiled in a museum.

Artist Jason Wilsher-Mills's augmented reality pictures of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, which come to life when seen through a tablet, were viewed for the first time at a special launch party at Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum in Dorchester.

Ancestors of the martyrs gathered to see the pictorial tribute to the Dorset farm labourers who started the trade union movement and said it made them 'very proud'.

They were interviewed by Jason for the project and their voices can be heard in the exhibition.

Dorchester resident Derek Pride, a distant relative of martyr James Brine, said: “I’m delighted and proud and I think the exhibition is superb. I’ve seen nothing like it before, it’s so modern. It’s mind blowing, but it’s also subtle, there’s so much meaning there.”

Each of the six pieces of art is an individual portrait of the martyrs.

Visitors to the Shire Hall will be able to see bees, butterflies, ships and flowers flying out of the artwork when they view it though a tablet. They will also be able to hear the voices of the martyrs' relatives through headphones.

The artwork was unveiled in the week of the 185th anniversary of the trial of the Tolpuddle Martyrs at Shire Hall.

An app called Tolpuddle Martyrs Remixed: Six Dorset Men Who Changed The World makes the visual effects possible. It was created by Jason alongside developers HotKnife.

Jason said: “There’s nothing in the UK like this. It’s ground-breaking, there’s no other museum or gallery using this technology the way we are.”

Eleanor Evans, who is related to martyr James Hammett, said: “It’s just fantastic that six quite ordinary men could have the effect on the world that they had and that they are still remembered 185 years on.”

Director of Shire Hall, Anna Bright, said: “I think it’s absolutely incredible. Visually the work is so rich, you can keep looking at it and the more you see the more you get out of it, and that’s even before the augmented reality, it’s stunning.”

Dorset school students in years 5,7 and 8 worked with Jason to create their own Tolpuddle Martyr-style portraits and their artworks will be part of the new exhibition.

The exhibition, Tolpuddle Martyrs Remixed: Six Dorset Men Who Changed The World, will run at Shire Hall until June 14 and is free with a valid museum annual pass. For more information or to become a volunteer visit