Living Painting At The National Gallery

Client: The National Gallery
Sector: Art installation, Museums and Galleries
Services: Install, Print

Extraordinary uses for large format digital print at The National Gallery . Watch the video of this amazing project.

Using their large format digital print expertise, PressOn were asked by the Flower Council of Holland to help create a giant 35 square metre installation to be erected in Trafalgar Square outside the National Gallery on 2 June 2016.

The “living painting” combined the medium of digital print and 26,500 real flowers. The work was commissioned to celebrate’s support of the Dutch Flowers exhibition at the National Gallery that runs until 29 August 2016.

It was a challenging request – to create a 6.2 metres tall by 4.6 metres wide piece of digital print that when covered with real flowers, would recreate a Dutch Master painting by artist Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder. The painting is entitled ‘A Still Life of Flowers in a Wan-Li Vase’ (1609-10). PressOn were approached by Chanel de Kock, UK Marketing Manager for the Flower Council of Holland, in early May to help.)

Nigel, one of PressOn’s joint MD’s worked on the project and undertook some of the lengthy testing needed to get the materials used, and the inks just right for the project.  PressOn printed a template of the painting that sat on floristry foam to act as a guide for the florists adding the real flowers. They tried using that could be pulled out once the flowers were added, but it disintegrated too quickly for the florists to be able to work effectively on it. The timing of the disintegration was too unpredictable though for us to guarantee the print would stay intact for long enough so the florists could see the painting.

The final configuration was a print on blueback paper, using HP Latex inks on PressOn’s HPLX3500. Then using the Kongsberg XP Cutter they made over 30,000 slits in the printed surface to enable the flowers to be added.

12 sections in total were printed to wrap the floristry foam. Some of painting was not covered in flowers so was printed on canvas to help withstand the weather and then added over the top of the other covered sections.

Nigel (Webster)at PressOn did find the project quite stressful because it was so specific but it’s amazing how we pulled through and PressOn was absolutely fantastic. I have rarely worked with a printer so dedicated and so involved.
Chanel De Kock
UK Marketing Manager fr the Flower Council of Holland

Finishing touches added to the installation by the florists. Photo by Catherine Pound Photography


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