Grundy Art Gallery: A Clown Walks Into A Gallery…
Continuing our gallery production work this year, we had our first major job in 2018 for the Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool. The goal was to produce 20 A1 archival fine art prints for exhibition, dry mounted to aluminium composite panels and a subframe installed on the reverse for hanging.
Stage 1: Artwork
The artwork for this job was provided by London-based specialist photographer Luke Stephenson, who is represented by the Photographers Gallery. The series of painted Clown Egg photographs are incredibly striking, and the eggs record the painted faces of members of Clowns International and act as a form of copyright register for Clowns.
Luke photographs what to many epitomises the eccentricity of Britain. Often humorous in their outlook, his series range from prize budgerigars to the World Beard and Moustache Championships. Whether animate or inanimate objects, Stephenson creates affectionate portraits of his subjects and documents worlds often hidden from the mainstream.
Stage 2: Paper Choice & Printing
Discussions with Luke and Paulette Brien, curator at the Grundy, led to us coming to a general consensus that Hahnemühle FineArt Pearl would be the optimum paper for use in this project. The bright white based of FineArt Pearl enables impressive contrasts and pictorial depth in colour photography, and the pearlescent finish was ideal for these prints which were to be displayed on aluminium composite panels, with no glass separating the print from the viewer.
Stage 3: Dry Mounting
For dry mounting this exhibition, we used genuine black DIBOND® aluminium composite panels, to ensure rigidity across the pieces and clean edges and corners all around. The panels were cut on a CNC router before having a twin-release layer of dry mount film applied, and the prints subsequently mounted and trimmed back to create full bleed panels. A 15mm aluminium subframe was then applied to the reverse of the panels to provide extra strength, and a hanging system that would allow the panels to sit off the walls and create a shadow gap behind them for a sense of depth.