Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research
  Jonathan Ward, Lawn 2011

Jonathan Ward

title of wallpaper: LAWN
Description: Composite images from multiple digital photographs capturing the seasonal progression of a lawn over the period of a year.
keywords: Artist's book, ‘Travelling Motionless’, Lawn, Photoshop, Evo 170 Loomstate

Lawn was originally created as an artist's book composed of 200 cloth books (measuring 20 x 20cm) laid out in a 3 x 4 metre grid on the floor of the West Gallery at the Quay Arts Centre on the Isle of Wight. It formed part of the exhibition ‘Travelling Motionless’ that used the language and mechanics of the book to explore themes such as slicing time and re-experiencing transitional moments in human personal development. Each of the books contained images of sections of lawn through a year’s growing season that were then composed as a visual mosaic for the viewer to explore on their hands and knees. When the books were left open, the pages loosely mimicked the grass forms found in their pages.

Choosing the right substrate for print quality, durability and the warm tactility needed for the work involved testing a range of textiles on the Roland DG. Calico, silk and polyester wove all proved difficult to maintain a consistent feed through the printer and lost some of the softer qualities of the original surface. A small sample of Evo 170 in the CFPR offered a perfect balance of fine print quality and consistent surface. Evo 170 Loomstate is a polyester non-wove that is closely related to interfacing fabric and Vileda Supermop material. It has a warm, soft, uniform surface that holds fine detail extremely well and turned out to be tough enough to survive six weeks of being walked on throughout the duration of the exhibition.

I have long been fascinated by different materials and the physical language they offer the tactile nature of the artist's book. Ideas can sometimes lie in the sketchbook or plan-chest drawer for some time, awaiting the discovery of the appropriate material to support the content. Alternatively, as happened here, a search is undertaken for the substrate to work in harmony with the concept. Although the project brief investigates the visual potential of wallpaper, I find myself looking at Lawn more as floor-paper, a playful surface that draws the external to the internal, a whimsy or folly for the eyes and feet.

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