Presenting ‘Materia Medica’

This gallery contains 46 photos.

We couldn’t have asked for a better Saturday – with warm sunny weather and a steady crowd of supporters, you could say the launch of the exhibition was pretty smashing, and visitors to the gardens were very generous to us in their positive feedback. The drawing and book workshops ran smoothly starting a little after […]

What goes up, must come down…as long as it follows health and safety regulations.

Almost there! Thursday and Friday were spent putting up the exhibition and getting everything into its final place. With so many little details, it’s amazing how everything really comes together in the end. The countdown is almost over!

3 May 2013

Public Workshop Plan

Our plan for the public drawing workshop and bookmaking extravaganza. We decided the best way to get people involved would to be have specific instructions for how to draw available, as well as making the initial drawings ourselves in order to lead by example as people first come to walk in. I think children will have no problem (or rather no inhibitions) in grabbing a stick of charcoal and drawing like crazy, but adults can be more self-conscious about their drawing skills, especially if we approached it as a free for all, do whatever you like, sort of thing. I think having plenty of source materials and a few simple approaches ready for people will be most effective in getting them to participate and enjoy their time with us.

In Progress


My Creation Process:

After much debate, I’ve settled on using acrylic gel gloss in order to transfer each block of text onto individual cards made of Khadi paper. I think this method will be best suited for the creation of these cards because I want them to have a sort of delicate sense about them; that same kind of feeling of fragility that you experience when you walk into the main room with its glass cases full of antique glass bottles, and the featheriness that comes with the aging paper used for the medicinal boxes. Using the gel gloss can give each piece of text an undefined edge which can be overlaid onto the sturdier background of the Khadi paper, which also acts as a good surface for watercolor. Each card will eventually have a watercolor painting on the back which relates to the text on the front in some way or another.

For those who are less familiar with gel gloss, the process of transferring images onto it involves a three day process in which one layer of gloss is painted over laser printed text (or a laser printed image) each day and allowed to dry approx. 24 hours before the next layer is added. For these I ended up doing a fourth layer on the third day as well, to ensure their overall stability. Once thoroughly dry, I flip the image over and use a damp sponge to gently remove the paper so that a clear acrylic skin is all that is left (along with the printed words left behind). Afterwards I just use another layer of the clear gel gloss as an adhesive between the Khadi paper and the gel skin. The process is not all that complicated, but it does require a little patience and gentle maneuvering!

23 April 2013

While continuing the editing process of the fictitious fact cards that I posted previously, I am also working out how these bits of “infauxmation” will be most successfully created and displayed. I’ve been going back and forth between printing them straight out onto paper or handwriting them myself. The advantage of handwriting them would primarily be in their overall aesthetic quality, as well as making them more obviously a part of the exhibition. Printing them, however, I believe would legitimize them in a way in the minds of people, as we tend to accept information that appears by print to be “published”, and why would anyone publish something untrue in a public setting? It’s kind of like those advertisements you see all over t.v. or in magazines…I fall for them every time because they are always backed up by statements like “thorough research indicates that…” and “the statistics show…” until you find out that the “research” and the “stats” are conducted and produced by those within the company that’s selling the product. I may not be selling a product, but I can definitely take a page out of their book on how to convince and persuade the general public to buy into my fabrication of apothecary history.