Here’s the secret to getting the curved bit done. And let me point out that there was no precedent for this – the engineering side of things has been conceived up by Adrian and myself through a little maths and physics and a lot of trial and error.
The wall securing system consists of 14 fabricated uprights (30mm aluminium square section bar) that were drilled through in five locations and fixed to the wall at 500mm intervals. Then it was time for the backing assembly.
The entire thing was made from layers of 5mm foam board. Popular in the sign making industry this material is flexible and doesn’t break easily, yet is lightweight and durable. I figured it was perfect for adapting to a curved wall so six enormous sheets were purchased and cut into sections of a pre-determined length and width in order to create a ‘brick’ type effect as we built up the layers.
This has the benefit of adding longitudinal strength as the base was constructed. So each of the three layers has their joints overlapped by the next and so on. We had made a scaled down version to test that the curve could actually be made before arriving on site.
When the outer most layer was complete each countersunk screw hole was then filled and sanded before the bonding agent was applied. Once this was done it was time to roll out the canvas and stick it to the back assembly; easier said than done.
In total there are over 560 individual fixings in the framework, 22 litres of paint in the painting and a commitment of over 500 man-hours from the point I first said ‘Of course I can do that!’