Interviews

THE OLD BANK | Artist In Focus

13th September 2017

MICHAEL WALLNER

Q1. How would you describe your work and process?

“I would describe my art as a celebration of the city through the lines, colours, and shapes that create its character and personality... Sometimes I use brass, wood, neon and even reclaimed 1930s windows.”

I would describe my art as a celebration of the city through the lines, colours, and shapes that create its character and personality....

I create my work by digitally manipulating and colouring my own photographs on a huge graphics tablet. I then print them on a variety of surfaces, usually brushed aluminium (which makes them look like etchings). Sometimes I use brass, wood, neon and even reclaimed 1930s windows.

Q2. Where do you create all/most of your work?

I begin my work on the streets of the city, searching for the best and most unusual views I can find. Many have been taken from helicopters with the doors taken off to allow for clearer views.

I use a huge Wacom graphics tablet, with a TV-like screen. This allows me to manipulate and colour the pictures directly onto the screen. This means I can colour intricate images with amazing accuracy.

I work on all my art in my studio at Wimbledon Art Studios, a community of more than 200 artists in South London.

Q3. Tell us about the pieces you have on show at The Old Bank Gallery...

River of Light This light installation is one of my favourite pieces. A cobalt blue piece of neon traces the shape of the river Thames. When it is lit the neon glass tube is illuminated with a beautiful blue with dark edges, mimicking the shores of the river.

The neon is attached to specially treated reclaimed wooden planks, with a rusted steel edging and industrial style hooks.

London Skyline This is a very unusual piece of art. It is created from an original photograph taken from the top of BT Tower. The image is digitally manipulated leaving the outlines of the skyline and its wonderful landmarks.
It is then printed on a dichroic film – a unique film which changes colour when viewed from different angles, before being backed onto a block of clear acrylic.

When you walk across the piece the skyline appears to change colour – the outlines shine in blue, magenta, yellow, gold, pink, green and red, depending on the viewing angle.

National Theatre The South Bank’s famous National Theatre. Created from an original photograph and digitally manipulated to give the image a painted effect and highlight the concrete. Once the sky is coloured in a vivid pink the image is printed on brushed aluminium.

Little London collection The smaller pieces are from my Little London collection. The images of London landmarks are all created from my original photographs, digitally manipulated to trace the outlines and coloured. The images are printed on small pieces of brushed aluminium and floated in a white hand-painted wood frame. ‘Celebrate the Big Smoke with a little piece of art.’

(pieces in reserve) Above and Beyond The best-selling piece in my portfolio- an aerial view of London from the South Bank as far as Kent! Created from an original photograph taken while hanging out of a helicopter. Digitally manipulated to trace the outlines of the city, coloured on a graphics tablet and printed on brushed aluminium, which gives the image an etched effect.

St Paul’s (black) Silver outlines trace the beautiful curves of St Paul’s cathedral. Created from an original photograph and printed directly onto brushed aluminium.

Q4. Why do you enjoy most about working with The Old Bank?

I love being part of an exciting new project right from the start. Being part of someone’s creative vision is a thrill, and the team at The Old Bank Vault are passionate about their vision. They have chosen a wonderfully eclectic mix of artists and makers, and have made us all feel very welcome. The space looks spectacular, the perfect setting to show our art.

Q5. Do you have plans for a new project/body of work?

Oh yes! I am currently working on some new, more adventurous light installations featuring L.E.Ds and motion sensors. Watch this space...