Each element used in the design starts as an ink sketch or line drawing. These are often drawn over-sized and larger than they will appear in the artwork to scale. The individual images are then scanned and saved as high res. jpegs allowing me to import into Photoshop.
The following drafts were approved and signed off by the client team to develop into detailed design for production.
In the above draft artwork the optically clear vinyl, with no print colour is shown as black. This would appear as fully transparent glazing. The artwork presents various colour & opacity values, utilising print white techniques to great effect. VGLhave been excellent and creative collaborators on this project.
Below is a draft production file from VGL which shows – in tones of pink – the strength of opaque and translucent white which is printed in-between the colour layers.
The trick with all these proposals is to get the right proportion of printed cover, clear glazing and translucency. All very well on paper – but once installed, there are views beyond the glazing to consider too. The movement of traffic, activity of people and the ever changing weather. These all impact considerably on how the installed artwork can be read and appreciated, both from at distance and from up close.
Full scale printed samples are the next item on the list.
The Glazing Vinyl Artworks are presented as a series of abstract & figurative elements based upon a number of historic land maps, including the 1816 plan of Cottingham Common showing historic field patterns, each of which is annotated with the names of the individual landowner and /or tenant farmer.
The Inclosure Act of 1766 transformed this ill-drained common meadow and pasture, which was subject to seasonal flooding from the tidal River Hull, into a landscape of sluices, dykes, drains and ditches, the names of which, will be familiar to many of you now.
The 1886 hand drawn map of Coldharbour Farm, on North Carr Lane -now Orchard Park Road, in the collection of the Hull History Centre, shows the individual fields held by the tenant farmer, which were farmed until the new estate was built in 1963. This new building on Hall Road, part of the Orchard Park Estate, sits within the original boundary of the farm.
It is this historic landscape and community which provides a ‘frame’ of support and a visual reference for the artworks, reflecting the fact that there has been a continuous system of land & water management and farming, in turn supporting a community on this site since medieval times.
The artwork builds a bridge to the past and also acts as a threshold between the external and internal landscapes of the building. The outlines of plants, suggest those which may have grown in the waterways and fields of the area – Flowering Rush, Floating Pondweed,
Dyers Greenweed, Birds Foot Trefoil, Marsh Marigold, Cowslip, Common Daisy and Stinking Cranesbill. The Field Pattern geometry works as a scaffold device to hold these detailed drawings together, with its suggestion of green fields, ponds, clouds and textures.
The whole artwork is kept rigidly in place via the deep architectural window frames, which impose a vertical and horizontal symmetry to the view.
The use of areas of clear, transparent glazing is very much a part of the intention of the work, allowing views both from and into the building, whilst further animating and providing a backdrop of external colour and texture to illuminate and make visible, the cut-out detailing of the artwork.
The Field Pattern is further used to inspire and give form to a wall-hung cabinet, to be known as the Field Cabinet, which can be used as an ordinary bookshelf as well as a cabinet of curiosity containing references to the history and locality of the new building.