top of page

My Wallpaper

Continuing to explore cliché twee imagery associated to the aesthetic of Englishness, I created a modern day version of an old traditional toile wallpaper (Fig.1). I was planning on exhibiting this in the end of unit one exhibition however due to lack of time and funds this did not prove to be possible.

I chose to incorporate images that I find represent a more honest real image of England today rather than a very quaint scene depicting cute lambs, happy dogs and happy children. I therefore exchanged happy dogs in favour of police dog's and other lowbrow images and logos such as Britain's Got Talent and Asda. I also wanted to incorporate tacky day time tv as I find it a very obvious contrast to leisurely and outdoor countryside shown in the traditional wallpaper, this is why I included Jeremy Kyle posing as James Bond (also iconically British) surrounded by dead bodies.

The one motif in my reproduction that seems out of place is the one of Sacha Bowen Cohen holding an adopted Afro Caribbean Baby in his 2009 film "Bruno" (watch the scene on youtube). I believe that in my previous work, the taking inspiration and referencing old English paintings worked very well and was a process I very much enjoyed. An English painting that I have been meaning to work from is Thomas Gainsborough's Mr and Mrs Andrews (Fig.2), this is because of the typicalness of subject matter and the eerie atmosphere. I was drawn to the empty space left on Mrs Andrews lap where many believe a baby was meant to be sitting, this leaves an open ended question for the viewer and is potentially a very sad narrative. My play on this painting and the link between this and my wallpaper is the missing baby in the painting and the adopted baby by Bruno (Fig.3). This is a rather far fetched link and one that is not necessary for the piece, this is because it does not fit well with the other four images and acts as a confusion. Looking back it would have made more sense to draw the dress of Mrs Andrews rather than a very similar random dress found on a wallpaper or not include this reference at all as it was a very forced link.

The process of making this piece proved a lot more simple than imagined, it was created entirly digitally and was relatively stress free. I started by editing the image on photoshop to create a frame work to be traced, I did this using only found images taken from the internet. I then traced the image using an iPad, this combined the two layers and enabled the flatness required for an authentic professional image (Fig.4). Once all the images were created it was then just a matter of arranging the pattern so that they fitted together neatly, I then repeated the composition so that they all tesselated together, I also edited the colours and placed a canvas filter over the images to mimic the texture of an actual wallpaper placed on a wall.

My intention was to show this piece in the exhibition however due to the printing costs this proved impossible for now, I wanted to display this piece in the corner of the exhibition space taking up two walls, one being a blue tint the other being a pink tint, this would mimic the domestic environment. I wanted to display my piece as an actual wallpaper spanning from the ceiling to the floor (Fig.5), I did not see the point of showing a wallpaper any other way, simply showing a section of the wallpaper as an image with a border would not achieve the effect I desired, I did not want to pretend the wallpaper was anything other than a practical piece of functioning wallpaper. The cost to print one side of the wall 1 metre by 3 metres cost £45, I then wanted two sides making the total cost £90, this was all from the chelsea on site printers. If I had more time I would have approached other printers to see if it could be done for a slightly more student friendly price however I did not have time to do this as the piece was done quite last minute, I would consider showing this piece in a future studio crit providing I find a way to print it at a lower rate. It was suggested that I attempt to print out many multiples at a small scale and then combine them in an attempt to bring the cost down, however when I attempted this it looked very amateur and did not achieve the professional quality I had wanted.






bottom of page