Strange Dream: Introduction
Strange Dream: Introduction
Initial Sketch
Initial Sketch
Initial Sketch and Numbers
Initial Sketch and Numbers
In Progress
In Progress
In Progress
In Progress
In Progress: Colour
In Progress: Colour
Installation
Installation
Glue Tests
Glue Tests
Installation
Installation
Artist Talk
Artist Talk
Strange Dream: Introduction
Strange Dream: IntroductionA one-sheet comic strip portraying the narrative behind Strange Dream. 
Initial Sketch
Initial SketchA screenshot showing the process of creating the work for Strange Dream. Each of the red squares on this Photoshop file represents a 3'x3' square sheet of paper in real life, which I drew individually with acetone based black ink on the studio floor.
Initial Sketch and Numbers
Initial Sketch and NumbersA screenshot showing the process of creating the work for Strange Dream. Each of the red squares on this Photoshop file represents a 3'x3' square sheet of paper in real life, which I drew individually with acetone based black ink on the studio floor. The pink is the numbering system I used to keep all 210 sheets in order in the studio. The blue dots indicate which panels I have already drawn in real life, to keep track of where I'm at.
In Progress
In ProgressA six-panel excerpt of the mural in progress, on the floor of the studio. I used an acetone-based wood stain dye concentrate for the drawings themselves. It's the stuff that they use a few drops of to tint gallons of wood stain; I used it straight out of the bottle. I needed a fully waterproof, opaque, non-pooling, fast-drying ink for the drawings, so they would be simple to work on in the studio. A solvent-based ink also does not curl paper, which is a typical paper reaction to water-based ink. As well, solvent-based inks are waterproof, so that they will not run or bleed when covered in water-based glue (for installing on the wall of the gallery).
In Progress
In ProgressAn eight-panel excerpt of the mural in progress, on the floor of the studio. This was the largest number of paper panels that I could physically fit together in the studio at one time; I didn't know fully what the entire mural would look like all together until gluing it to the wall of the gallery. A bit nerve-wracking.
In Progress: Colour
In Progress: ColourAn eight-panel excerpt of the mural, as I started to add the nest of colour. As a true crazy person, I used Chartpak markers to colour the 100-or-so square feet that the colour portion of the mural takes up, since they were nice and bright, didn't wrinkle the paper, and are fully waterproof (all attributes I needed for the installation portion of the project, where I coat the paper in glue made of tapioca and potato starch).
Installation
InstallationHere, my installation assistant Nick Johnson points at our progress. We used a 25' scissor lift to reach to the top of the gallery walls, gluing each individual panel up with a potato and tapioca starch glue, using wheatpaste techniques.
Glue Tests
Glue TestsExperimenting with glue recipes.Wheatpaste is a super economical glue for large-scale paper installation; however because of the gluten content, it's very difficult to remove. For the Manning Hall space, I needed a glue that would stay put, yet would also be simple to remove in December once the installation comes down. I tested glue recipes using various gluten-free grains (tapioca, potato, arrowroot, rice, amaranth, etc.), but eventually settled on a ratio of 1:1:20 with potato starch, tapioca starch and water. The potato starch was easy to work with and smooth, but clumped a bit; the tapioca starch was crystal clear and incredibly easy to remove, but had a viscosity that was difficult to work with on its own. Using both together gave me the best qualities of each.
Installation
InstallationContinuing to install around the corner. Wrapping around the security camera was especially fun.
Artist Talk
Artist TalkPhoto by Art Gallery of Alberta.Art Gallery of Alberta curator Kristy Trinier facilitating an artist talk with myself in the fully installed space.
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