Big Walls and Windows is a project run in partnership between Liquitex, Cass Art and University of the Arts London (UAL) Camberwell, which offers art students a chance to create a site-specific installation on a large ambitious scale. The project gives a unique opportunity to gain exposure with a work in the public eye and aims to inspire ambition and remove barriers preventing creative exploration. Artists are tasked with designing, proposing, and producing a site-specific mural fully utilising the space it occupies within a limited timescale, and to budget.

After an open call for entries, a winning design proposal was selected belonging to Emily Jackson’s (@emmie.j.arts). Currently in her 2nd year BA Fine Art: Scottish Painting student, Emily’s work explores the concept of liminal space, investigating the relationship between line, space and perception. Her mural – created using materials supplied by Liquitex – aims to act as a gateway, inviting the public to step into a place previously unexplored.


We had the chance to catch up with Emily after she completed the project, to learn more about her inspirations, work, and challenges faced in the process.

What made you enter a proposal for the Big Walls and Windows Project?

I entered the Big Walls and Windows Project because it gave me the chance to create work on such a large scale, which is something I was unable to explore on my own. I also wanted to enter because the Wall is in such a public space, I am very interested in the relationship between an artwork and its audience, and this project lets you observe that relationship more closely.

What was your experience of working on a large scale going into the project?

Before this I worked on small scale pieces, the only large-scale work I had done was painting fake wallpaper into a small cupboard. The cupboard was too small to stand back and fully view the painting and so this project was quite different for me. I was excited to create a work in full view that couldn’t be missed.

Did you find there were any challenges working on this scale for the first time?

Definitely the biggest challenge was time. In my head I would finish the installation within a week, whereas in reality, I used the entire month available. Each element that would usually take me a couple of hours on a piece of A4, could take up to a couple of days on the wall, but it was so worth it.

Where did your draw your inspiration for the project from?

My main inspirations for this project were indie games, and technical drawings. They can be simplistic in style, and so focus on getting their image across directly. This allows a lot of room for the audience to create their own interpretations of the image, which is something I wanted to explore in this project. Initially I started looking into liminal space as I found something mesmerizing about empty hallways, I would be walking through one with a friend and get completely distracted. This was when the idea of “The Backrooms” got popular, and so I became interested in what people found captivating about them. For this project, I wanted to use the scale of the wall to create a life-sized portal. The great thing about liminal space is that it goes both ways, so this portal could lead to a hallway which could also lead to somewhere else. I didn’t want the wall to appear like a window - just showing someplace else - I wanted the viewer to feel like they could walk into this portal.

How beneficial were the Liquitex materialssupplied, and the learnings from the materials consultation?

The materials were great, being able to pre-mix large amounts of all my colors before I used them was so helpful. The most useful thing I learned was how to make warm, cool, and neutral greys. Black and white make a neutral grey, add yellow or red and it becomes warmer, add blue and it becomes cooler. This meant I could use warmer greys for the foreground, neutrals for the midground and cooler greys for the points furthest away from the viewer. It allowed me to create a level of depth that using only black and white would not have given.

Will you incorporate any learnings from this project into your future study and work?

Doing this project really helped me see how people interact with my work. Some people would stare from far away or come up and touch the wall, and one girl came up and put her face against it to really look at it. I think a lot of this was due to the scale, it being life size. I’m taking this into my work going forward. Constantly discussing the work with people also allowed me to realize my inspirations and interest in video games and narrative based artworks, which I’m beginning to explore.