In early August, Boeing Vancouver contacted us to design and install a custom mural as the centerpiece to their new Yaletown office. We were excited by the prospect of this commission because of the strange location and proportion of the wall, plus the subject matter of innovation in flight.
Because our style is abstract, we try to capture the feeling of a moment. In this concept, we were inspired by the sight of a modern Boeing commercial aircraft the very moment it takes flight in front of a large mandala sun disc shape. The colours and placement of the mandala are inspired by the rising sun, so the plane itself is in silhouette. The movement of the background shapes are inspired by rotation of a powerful turbine. Imagine a large Boeing 787 just taking off in front of an energetic early morning sunrise. This is the essence we are trying to capture.
The sun disc itself will be painted using a beautiful, thick metallic gold paint. The sun disc’s corona will be painted using a vibrant, metallic copper. The sky towards the edges of the composition will use a blue inspired by Boeing’s brand, though will not be an exact match. Boeing’s blue is custom made for the brand, and is definitely subject to copyright, thus we will simply use it as inspiration when mixing our colour. Finally, the plane itself will use a matte black acrylic paint which helps set the background mandala apart. The use of metallic paint, plus the placement of the lights, will mean that the piece will change tonality as you move around it due to how the light is reflected off of it.
The installation begins by projecting our carefully measured final artwork onto the wall. This allows the transposing of the artwork to move rapidly, especially when you are bound to ladders. We sketch out half of the image at a time due to the limitations of our short-throw projector but we find it works extremely well.
Once the image is fully transposed, we meticulously paint in what was just sketched on to the wall. This process is the most time-consuming, but also the most rewarding. We use metallic acrylic paint a lot because we love how it interacts with the light as you move around the area.
We always try to capture photos of the process. This time around, we tried a GoPro camera, however due to a time crunch we abandoned it and used our DSLR instead. We lost the first part of the installation process (transposing using the projector) but did capture the painting phase. Here is 15 hours of painting in 10 seconds.