Inspired by the processes involved in making paper through the paper mill’s machinery, this piece was shaped to represent the cycle taken, combined with inspiration taken from the natural world, including cross sections of trees, flowing water and microscopic images from nature to express SAICA’s dedication to a sustainable future.
A collaborative project between the artist and children in the form of workshops was undertaken to create a positive, uplifting and celebratory response to SAICA’s environmental initiative and commitment.
This large site specific wall installation was produced for SAICA’s PM11 paper mill at Partington, Manchester for the inauguration in April 2013.
SAICA uses recovered paper to manufacture recycled paper for corrugated packaging.
When I was approached for this commission opportunity I didn't know anything about recycling paper on a large scale, so before working on a proposal I was invited to visit PM11 to take a tour of the mill. I was inspired by the processes involved in the recycling and making of the paper and on seeing the machinery I knew I wanted to design a piece of art based on the paper running between the huge rollers. But I also wanted to reflect on SAICA’s environmental commitment, so I looked at aspects of the natural world for inspiration. PM11 uses water from the Manchester Ship Canal in the paper making process before thoroughly cleaning and returning the water back to the canal. I have taken inspiration from flowing water and I have also reflected on the trees saved through recycling, so patterns based on microscopic images of pores found in tree cross sections can be seen in the piece too.
The artwork would be displayed in the reception area of the building so the outlay off the foyer had to be considered before the shape, materials and space that the artwork would take up was decided. Once the design proposal was accepted the wall colour and surrounding furniture was chosen to compliment the work.
The installation was produced using a selection of SAICA’s paper and when I designed the main piece that runs through the installation I split it into manageable sections that I later connected so that I could leave the outer two sections empty ready to be worked on when the children visiting SAICA attended workshops with me, that way their work would be integrated into the piece.
The commission package also involved four childrens workshops on site, two in primary schools and for me to give a short talk at the inauguration.
To find out more visit:
PM11: Inspiration installation page:
for the wall installation statement and to find out more about the installation
PM11: Inspiration community project page:
how the children in the local community and visiting spanish children were involved in the project
Childrens Workshops page:
to find out more about the workshop