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The Big White Wall Project 2016 is now complete!

Artists Features

The Big White Wall Project at UAL’s Central Saint Martins, sponsored by Liquitex and Cass Art, has now been completed! We’ve been following student Matthew Wang’s progress, from having never painted before, to creating a spectacular 30 meter wall mural!

The final piece is titled 'Found' and carries deep sociological meaning. The striking design of colored panels represents countries at the forefront of contemporary news. The hues replicate Google's top color representations of these regions. 

 BWW - postcard final

‘Found’: A 30-meter wall mural created using Liquitex

We interviewed Matthew again to find out how he’s feeling now the wall is finished, and what he’s learnt along the way.

 

How do you feel now that the project is finished?

Excited! I’m glad to observe how my work has impacted those who have viewed it and I’m keen on taking the project further. I don’t see its completion as something conclusive, but one that opens up a host of other possibilities. 

 

Did the project evolve from your initial concept?

The project evolved in a multitude of ways from conception to realization. The choice of colors, textures and finishes had to be adjusted to the wall and its surroundings, such as the varying light conditions and the different possible viewing angles. I had to relinquish a degree of control when seeking the help of friends, and had to resist touching the work after completion. I was glad to allow these factors to shape the outcome, as the work became much more dynamic and exciting. I have Stephanie Nebbia, from Liquitex, to thank for teaching me to be receptive to change and for giving me the confidence to develop my concept from start to end. 

 

 BWW 3 final 

 

Big White Wall artist, Matthew Wang

What have you learned?

I have learned a great deal about paints and surfaces. Having to select and mix so many colors has made me more sensitive to colors in the world around me. For example, I now think of London underground Oyster cards are Cerulean Blue, rather than just ‘blue’! I have started to appreciate the way work takes on new meaning when placed in the public sphere; working beyond the studio setting demands different sets of aesthetic and ethical capacities. Working on this scale also involves more stakeholders, so I’ve learnt a lot about working together within a specific timeframe. 

  

What tools or techniques did you use?

There was a lot of paint mixing by eye (Caroline List, Paint and Surface Technician at Central Saint Martins, gave me a useful crash course in mixing), but I did try to make use of imaging software to provide digital color values as well. This seemed obvious given that the colors were extracted digitally. Pete, also a technician at CSM, provided me with lasers, which were extremely useful for creating straight lines.

I used mainly masking tape, rollers, and Liquitex Professional Acrylic to accomplish the project. A feathering technique, which was taught to me by Paul, another technician at CSM, was immensely useful when applying the paints. With more familiarity and experience with the materials, my friends and I got better at achieving consistent finishes using less layers of paint. 

   BWW 1 final

 

Matthew made thorough color calculations throughout the project!

 Have you enjoyed working with Liquitex?

Liquitex’s range of Professional Acrylic colors is great and the finished results turned out incredibly vibrant. The Soft Body Acrylic has perfect consistency and spread easily on the wall. The Gesso worked well to enhance the colors and the Mediums were also really handy and easy to use.

What challenges did you face?

Mainly technical challenges: achieving the closest paint matches possible, working with uneven wall surfaces, awkward scaffolding, and balancing university demands with limited working hours. However, there are always ways of managing or getting around challenges in any situation; challenges are good creative exercises. I was always given a lot of support by both Central Saint Martins and the sponsors whenever we encountered difficulties, and I’m really grateful for that. 

 BWW 2 final

 

People enjoyed discussing the wall during the private view.

What have people’s reactions been?  

People’s reactions have been mixed; some enjoy it and some don’t. I think that’s healthy in stimulating discussions about the work and art in general. People have used the wall in a variety of ways - as a backdrop for fashion photography, as a performance space, a reflective space, a ‘selfie’ wall; people have enjoyed the way the wall interacts with the rest of the architecture. I often get asked about the wall, its concept and its rationale. It’s really encouraging when people are enthusiastic about the work and want to find out more. 


  

 BWW 4 final

 

Sunlight shines on the large-scale artwork.

 
 

Would you encourage other students to take part in the next Big White Wall project next year?

Certainly. It’s extremely rare for any artist in London to be given such a great space, materials and invaluable technical guidance. Being able to work on this scale propels a practice forward in many ways.  To see your work come to life and be interacted with is very enjoyable and rewarding. It’s also a very humbling experience. 

Liquitex staff enjoyed attending the launch night to celebrate Matthew’s achievement, and we look forward to supporting more artists in the future.

 

 

 

March 21, 2016 < Back To News

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