Tessa Jowell Health Centre Mural

Tessa Jowell Health Centre & Dulwich Picture Gallery Mural


Observations: Two sides (‘A’ & ‘C’ below) are opposite Windows, another faces a wall (‘D’) and the fourth (‘B’) a room and open floor space. A corridor runs around the whole balustrade.  The glass is one height throughout but different in widths on each side of the balustrade. All the glass is 12mm thick. It is not obvious from the provided photographs that the balustrade forms a truncated oblong in plan view.

As this information is not expressed in the drawings or photos the visit became a key experience to extracting information that would impact upon costing, design strategy and Installation.  The DPG helpline was very supportive in providing some extra information. The site visit clarified everything.


Drawing: Below – showing the smallest width in glass size. I now have all the details including the interval size between each sheet of glass and supports and the full height from the floor plane.

The Proposed Medium: PVC Glass Film

This is a super choice of material.  It is suggested that the artwork has a 3 year life-span and this medium allows for simple installation and replacement when the time comes.  I have previously done research into the possibilities of this material as it is printable, self-adhesive yet removable, can be cut into shape, printed in multiple colour, and is now available as a completely transparent medium. It is often seen as a semi-translucent material which is often cut into patterns and shapes and applied directly to the glass. Any cut-outs have ‘show-through’ where the glass can be seen through as required. The designs are often cut and parts removed, a process called ‘weeding’ removing parts as required, generally the film remains whole and covers all the glass surface. This may be a H&S factor for using the material.

Some Sample images:

Printed and Cut Film on Glass at Sainsbury’s Super Store, Vauxhall. Obscured Opalescent film with orange print and logo with shapes cut out revealing the kitchen behind the glass. Some lettering and the rolling pin image have a negative aperture with a printed positive image. I like the busy shapes seen in the background.

Below: The Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street  London  W1G 0AE

The society’s logo in opalescent film without colour, on the double glass entrance doors

Below: Starbuck’s on Sainsbury’s site, Vauxhall.

This film is applied in multiple layers overlapping each other. Whilst the designs are ‘cut n weeded’ the film remains whole and is firmly fixed to the outside of the glass. A most unusual and very decorative effect!


I am excited by the challenge of the chosen medium, Film on Glass.  I have looked into this material and its application some time ago. My recent enquiries tell me how much it has developed with the colour printing methods and the changes to the substrate.  It is much more flexible in it’s application process and has the addition of White as a print colour which permits the use of Opaque and Transparent and Translucent images providing a wider repertoire of possibilities. There are design issues with the ‘Back-to-Front’ nature of ‘see through’ being visible from both sides. Any Text or Writing may need to be expressed in reverse and needs careful planning, if that’s the case.

INSPIRATION:  from the DPG Collections / Exhibitions.

My concept of using 3 exhibitions as my starting point for my design strategy is most relevant to the overall scheme of things.  Choosing M.C. Escher, Eric Ravilious, and Claude Flight and the Grosvenor School exhibitions shows a connectivity between them is visual terms. Each artist is excellent at creating images with strong graphic structure, sometimes verging on the totally abstract yet clearly based on ‘things seen’, astute observation and graphic language brought together as style.

Taking a sample image concept from M.C.Escher’s exhibition, the ‘Metamorphosis’ series of prints and drawings, suggested that I could link all the planes of glass into a single narrative. A constantly evolving image sequence that can be linked with a linear format or design element. Each primary image may develop and fill the plane of glass and the linear aspect crosses all of them, that’s my concept in a nutshell. 

M.C.Escher: Part of a ‘Metamorphosis’ series showing a continuity of image and scale in the side to side reading of the images. This single image is divided x 6. This is not to copy the image in any way but to demonstrate how the image can carry over 6 planes. Or perhaps not? Here it is fluid and simple to read in Black & White terms.

The 6 panels of side ‘B’ (Above) These are random [not part of my application] images placed in the same scale as each other with opaque spectral colours. The horizontal colour changing banding may be over all 25 sheets of glass? I have become interested in the graphic strength of the images, how solid or transparent they are or can be. There are clear views to the other side of the space. Using both sides in different ways has distinct possibilities.


Translucent Film on Glass is a common sight in public buildings whether as advertising or warning. The most common being the ‘eye level’ line of dots or squares on glass doorways and any large screen of glass in the public domain, as it is obligatory.  They can be seen in the online photographs of the mural site.

As an art medium it is not so common, probably even very unusual?  My latest research and development (R&D) is to examine how and when Colour and Opacity may come together, being the antithesis of the materials purposes.


My personal enquiries reflect on my artworks made on Film as an Illustration medium. I have experience of making images on Clear Photocopy Film, drawing in outline on one side and in colour on the other.  Looking at my own samples I recall using White Acrylic on the rear, overlaying White over the back of the coloured ink, this enriched the colour, brush marks, textures, etc, as deliberate acts of drawing. The images floated on the clear background material. The subject was Shadow Puppets, and the article considered the transparent or translucent material the puppets were made from; Dyed and Varnished Camel Skin and the story telling aspect of puppetry and the Puppeteer.  Each sheet was photographed separately and used creatively in the designing process.

Left: Each puppet is drawn on a different layer of film, including the background colours and the portrait of the puppeteer.  The two Blue Colours are also separate sheets of film. The Graphic Designer made a great playful use of the freedom the method gave to the images. The puppets individually appeared amongst the text as well as in this image. 

Puppeteers of Turkey are revered  and hold high social status. They continue a long tradition of story telling. The narratives always have some form of wisdom, politics, or family advice, etc, expressed in comical and simple language.

How this could work on Glass Film & Print:

Below: ‘Karagoz’  The image of 3 characters and desk shown in the background would be printed in Full Colour on the film. The image is then overlaid with an identical outline shape in Solid White.  This in turn, is overlaid with another copy of the first Full Colour printing over the Solid White. The outcome is that the image is seen as opaque colour from both sides of the glass. The composition is supported on a Clear Film Background.  This process would increase the creative possibilities of the material and its content.

The background colour shown here is to see the White Solid as a colour and is not included in this design. The schematic image is showing the working out of the printing system as layers in perspective.

Below:   A mock up of the effect on a Glass Balustrade, minus the background colour!

My proposal would not include the Puppet images but are used here as a demonstration of the technique and using my understanding of contemporary Clear Film production methods and my Illustration techniques.

The Clear Film is applied to the whole surface of the glass. In this instance it would be printed on two separate pieces of film, one for each piece of glass. This image also demonstrates that the narrative is not limited by the glass shape, size or area. 

My research is in testing the medium so that designs can be produced to exploit the techniques and materials potential and application to this site-specific scenario.

New Printmaking Techniques:

Fortuitously, my latest print is on Translucent Synthetic Paper, printed on both sides with 4 CMYK colours on the back or ‘Verso’ and the ‘Front’ printed solely in CMYK Black outline. In this sample above, the Colour Image and Lines are two separate artworks, one each side, viewed through the translucent material. The ‘Front’ outline patterns have ‘Holographic Foil’ applied that reflect pure spectral colours that change by way of environmental lighting and the movement and location of the viewer. The impermanence of the colour is the subject; that colour is governed by light, the environment and perception and is not a property of the actual material. It is conceptually quite close to my proposal for the ‘Illustrated’ Glass balustrade mural.

The Front: Black outline patterns have ‘Holographic Foil’ applied that reflects spectral colours along and from the lines.  In a ‘Heat Press’ the sheet Holographic foil adheres to the Black ink outlines

The Front: Left: A detail showing the Holographic Foil adhered to the Black outlines. The black laser powder melts with heat and the sheet of holographic foil is overlaid before passing through a Heat Press when it adheres only to the lines. The outline patterns reflect spectral colours along and from the lines.  Colours are quite animated, changing with the movement of the viewer or the light, or both. The notion of transparency is evident and is part of my study of transparent materials.

The background image is a Felt Wall-hanging made some years ago; here recycled as an image for the print. The background design is all in Tamil Type alphabet and made with multiple layers of felt cloth. Layering has been present in my work for many years.


Over the last 2 years I have been studying Kiln Fired Glass at Kensington & Chelsea College, [now Morley College]. This is part of my enquiry into Glass as a transparent medium and part of my wider use of transparent and translucent materials in my Colour Research in printmaking and painting. 

Covid closed this avenue of research until now. I have re-enrolled this month and return to the glass studio in late April to develop and complete my new work with applied Mirror Finishing processes.

The glass artworks are all low relief objects made using the re-cycled moulds of my aluminium artwork made for the Kings Cross ‘Text Wall’ Mural.  Being transparent and polished, glass changes the meaning of the design and its ‘reading’ as an object.  This is all new territory for me, and perhaps why I am excited to be making a proposal for this mural competition. I have made many works in glass over the years.

Below :

4 Samples of Kiln Fired Glass made with recycled moulds from the Kings Cross ‘Text Wall’ mural and Mirror Finished in Silver, Bronze and Chrome.  Sold in ‘Glass at the Forge’ Gallery Show of 14 Glass makers in 2020.

Below :

‘Lacuna’: (unfinished due to Covid19). Left: Images are seen as ‘inside’ the glass and Right: the glass reflecting light from its frontal surface. The edges are Shot-Blasted with a radius to create the translucent quality. They will be attached to the steel background with magnets.  All the moulds for these artworks are recycled from the Kings Cross ‘Text Wall’ mural.

Other Works in Recycled Media or Concept:

The images above are made in a variety of materials and techniques. In the above array, Left to Right, is Felt, [made in Turkey], Kiln Fired Recycled Glass, Decorated Sheet Glass, (Enamel, Gold Leaf, Shot blasted, (both sides) & Mirror Finished. The 4th piece is the 3rd artwork reflecting Black cloth. The lower array is Watercolour with Holographic Gilding, and 3 ceramic bowls from the same mould with different clays and glazing technique. My first works in Ceramics.



 am considering the use of Dichroic Film which has a dyed coating that is receptive to light and allows light in and out in different directions. In the TJHC context, this could provide a simple but very colourful solution, yet a mysterious medium to speculate upon its effect. The Sheet material producing colour all on its own!

Seen in the escalator sample below all the colours are from one type of film colour-way. The changes of iridescent colour occur according to the position and movements of the viewer. It is a simple but quite animated and affective experience. Its use on a glass walled escalator suggests its own possibilities for the mural.

No two people perceive the same colour experience at the same time.  To be able to see through one layer of film to another layer increases colourful possibilities. Even reflections change colour. The angle the film is applied to the glass surface will deliver different colour experiences. 

Images from DOROTAPE:

The material needs to be seen to be understood. Reactive pure colour in its best form.

Dichroic Film applied to a sculpture: Colour changes with movement of the viewer

Free Form: All the colour is from 2 film types applied to plastic sheet material

The research and play element continues! More to follow………