Public Art pt2 – Budget

Tim Mills

Tim Mills’ installation ’30 Plymouths’ at the Mayflower West Car Park

I got to see installed public art and experience a community led piece in the making at the Plymouth Art Weekender on Sunday. It was encouraging to see a lot of photographic image use in various temporary and semi-permanent ways which gives me food for thought for future projects.

The budget for this work was always going to be small and only sufficient to cover material costs, but as a founder of Bideford Bay Creatives with the opportunity to make a large piece of art for the town that I?m living in I was happy to proceed under these restrictive conditions which define the finished work. I decided to use Truprint to print the images because I?ve been very impressed with the quality of image in both colour accuracy and longevity in the past. Truprint was used in 2012 for my Postcard from Manteo Open Studio where images were glued to the risers and varnished ? these images are still there and look as good as when they were first installed.

Union St

Use of historic photographs showing how Union Street used to look

Also Truprint is very cheap, approximately 5p for a 6×4 inch print – my intention was to get two images 3×4 inch on each print making them 2.5p each. My reason for such small prints, a size too small for any commercial printer to offer, was to achieve a truer representation of the original image through the photomosaic. Essentially, a photomosaic gets progressively easier to read as the number of images increases. However, the cost of the printing was small in comparison to the glue needed to fix the prints to the window surface; and this was compounded by the condition that the artwork needed to be temporary rather than permanent.

David Green

Making the arch for the middle section of the Photomosaic

It would have been possible to have sized an MDF board for each of the three window frames, then to have constructed the photomosaic off site in my studio and so only spending time in the allocated space for the installation of the finished boards. However, as this was Public Art, I felt that the public had the right to be engaged with the artwork in progress, so I decided to construct the whole piece within the public domain of Jubilee Square.