Wednesday, 13 June 2007

THE GRAND TOUR + Outdoor Printing Technology

London's National Gallery is showcasing some of its permanent works as full size reproductions complete with frames around Soho, Picadilly, and Covent Garden in The Grand Tour. This in itself is novel, but the technology behind it is especially interesting.

Imagine Ansel Adams prints on permanent display in Yosemite, Van Gogh's prints in rural France, or outdoor galleries in your garden or city centres. There's so much potential. My examples don't do justice. Already, the juxtaposition of classical paintings on display beside Soho's sex shops is wonderfully topsy-turvy.

Printing onto a material called Epiflex, Electronic Printing Services(Leeds) printed the life size reproductions using a Hewlett Packard DesignJet 10000 with solvent-based inks which were then combined with a waterproof laminate which stops colours fading. Initial lab tests suggest the prints will look the same after a decade. The largest of the images cost £200 to print.

An alternative method using the Epson Stylus 9600 makes use of pigmented inks which are not tied to a single material or manufacturer.

Guardian Unlimited Article
BBC - Bringing Art to Life
PrintWeek Article
National Gallery - The Grand Tour

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