The Wallpaper Project

The use of printable UV, thermo and solar receptive pigments for wallpaper and textiles

AWARDING BODY: UWE/SouthWest Regional Development Agency Knowledge Fellowship
FUNDED BY: South West ERDF Competitiveness and Employment Programme
AWARDED TO: Dr Carinna Parraman

The objective of the Wallpaper Project, in collaboration with Roland DG (UK) Ltd and with funding support from European Research Development Funding (ERDF), was to develop a range of printed materials and surfaces that could be developed as print on paper, textiles and applied to walls, which could adapt to changes in the environment and be interactive with the user. The project explored contemporary approaches to wallpaper design that combined craft, design, cutting-edge fabrication and novel printing technologies. New printing technologies are now being used to print onto a range of materials (plastics, metal, wood, uncoated papers) and can be used to trial new inks and methods of printing (UV hardening, metallic colours, ceramic, three-dimensional, non standard colour). Roland DG (UK) Ltd, manufactures ultra-violet-curing (UV) and solvent-based inkjet printers for the poster, signage and packaging market. The project tested the recently introduced UV-curing solvent inkjet printer and cutter, the VersaUV LEC Series printer, which has the capabilities of printing full-colour images, opaque-white and multiple layers of gloss onto a variety of materials.

The backgrounds of the majority of the artists working on the wallpaper project are based in the fine arts, for example, printmaking, photography and ceramics. Although all of the fifteen artists were provided with the same brief: to design a pattern that would be suitable for printed wallpaper, and then printed using the capabilities of the Roland printer, the result was that no two images, materials or methods were the same. We were therefore provided with an invaluable method for testing the limits of the technology (indeed to breaking). As each artist was faced with software, print workflow management and material choices, there evolved many restraints, discussions and reworkings in order to ensure ideas were feasible and practicable. With all these requirements it was often considered that creativity was the last in the design process. A range of issues (the impact on the creative process, the final outcome in the context of contemporary arts, and current trends), have been described in a series of artist’s statements.

We would like to thank Peter Kettle and Brett Newman of Roland DG (UK) Ltd, and the artists who have produced such a diverse portfolio of work. The project continues to grow.

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