Manchester Art Gallery: Skit
In May 2018 we were asked by Manchester Art Gallery to produce work for their group exhibition ‘Speech Acts’. Throughout this collaboration we worked very closely with Kate Jesson, the exhibition’s curator, and were pleased with the wonderful feedback we received from her, the Manchester Art Gallery team, and the artist Yara El-Sherbini.
Stage 1: Photography
We started by photographing Skit (2018) – a statue made by artist Yara El-Sherbini – using high resolution photography and daylight balanced lighting. Reflection and shadow control was paramount for this job. The curator of contemporary art at Manchester Art Gallery, Kate Jesson, was on-hand throughout to provide feedback during the shoot, and make minor adjustments to the veil thanks to being able to view preview images on our live client viewing monitor.
Stage 2: Printing
The subtle tones of the image were reproduced in stunning detail on our 12-colour Canon giclée printer. No detail was lost in the fabric of the veil, and the background texture was shown as a clean gradient with no stepped gradations or banding. The print was hand trimmed before being dust and defect-checked to be made ready for dry mounting.
Stage 3: Dry Mounting
Essential to the finished piece was a totally flat, clean, mounted image. We ran the print through our 60″ laminator using double-sided archival mounting film, in order to dry mount the giclée print to a CNC-routed sheet of Dibond – an aluminium composite panel that ensures incredible rigidity and flatness across its face, even over a large area such as this.
Stage 4: Framing
The choices for framing this work were made in conjunction with Manchester Art Gallery, and with the artist Yara El-Sherbini. The clients wanted to have as deep a box frame as possible to give the work perspective and depth, so we sourced a 72mm deep black open grain moulding, complete with a 52mm glass spacer to set the printed work back from the glass. The intention was that the work stood up on the floor in the manner of a self-portrait, so that viewers would look through the frame to the work below, as if they had the artist looking back at them through the frame.
To increase the effectiveness of this appearance, we used a high performance glazing solution, TruVue UltraVue Laminated glass, to deliver an exceptional viewing experience with a nearly invisible finish and its crystal clear color neutrality combined with superior safety, protection and security to minimise risk of injury in the event the glazing is broken or damaged. The glazing also has a 99% UV block rating, making it perfect for the conservation requirements of Manchester Art Gallery’s public collection.
Aluminium barrier tape was also used beneath the glass spacer to separate the print from any volatile chemicals in the wood or paint finishes used on the frame. Finally, an MDF backboard was fixed to the rear to seal the piece.
From the artist:
“It was wonderful seeing my Skit sculpture take on a new life as a large scale photographic piece, seeing how the work was transformed. Klein imaging we fantastic in realising my vision exactly.”
– Yara El-Sherbini