We discovered the wonderful world of PanelPop just a few weeks ago when visiting the Design Made Trade show in Melbourne. Tasmanian artist Beth Emily was showcasing her beautiful watercolour prints, some of which were printed upon a rustic boxed timber frame. Upon further exploration, Beth Emily sung the praises of local Fitzroy based framers named PanelPop, who have introduced an innovative new “canvas” to the art world. Made largely from products destined for landfill, the PanelPop comprises a porcelain like surface encased within a salvaged timber frame and backed with recycled polystyrene.
What is so inventive about the PanelPop is the variety of ways it can be used – Artists can sketch, paint and even sculpt directly onto the surface. If you have captured the perfect landscape shot on your camera, just send in your digital image which can be printed directly upon the PanelPop surface. PanelPop also print the works of select artists, such as Beth Emily, which I found too hard to walk past. After admiring her work at Design Made Trade and again later at PanelPop, I returned home with 3 pieces on order!
You can order PanelPop art panels directly online, but if you are in Melbourne
their studio in Brunswick St, Fitzroy, is well worth a visit. An assortment of different sized frames featuring an eclectic range of images adorn the walls, and are also stacked upon the floor in artful fashion.
The PanelPop was stumbled upon by Tony Knoll, who came across the idea to cast the timber frame and surface as one. In partnership with Nick McGrath and Emma
Griffin, they further developed the idea and launched the PanelPop in 2008, after which Lloyd Briggs also joined the team!. We had so many questions about the beautiful PanelPop’s and Emma Griffin happily obliged:
1. What inspired you to create the PanelPop frame? The
inspiration came from two points 1. the desire to make something truly
beautiful from the waste no-one else can work with and 2. Introducing a genuine
alternative to paper and canvas. With no great changes in the world of art
surfaces since the invention of paper over 1000 years ago we were charged to
discover, explore and finally create a solid, smooth and pre-framed
2. How has the PanelPop frame been used? PanelPop is a product that assists peoples creativity. In a blank form any medium is receptive. It’s used in illustration and painting or the combination of both. Printing Photos onto the stone using a UV cured
printer marries perfect photo quality images with the natural nuances of the
stone and timber. The uniqueness of a finished PanelPop commingles the
individual characters of the used materials with the most recent print
technology, with no glass the detail and depth is uninterrupted. It’s a tricky
attribute to articulate but its the part that creative souls fall in love with.
3. What has been your most exciting PanelPop print/commission?
Mostly it’s what we’re working on at the time. Today we produced a
36 piece wall for a surprise 80th. The photos start the mans life as a small
boy in Greece through the army, cane cutting in qld for immigration, purchasing
his first real estate agency, winning a ground breaking case and returning to
Greece to celebrate his success in Australia. These are heading to the walls of
an institutional restaurant in Melbourne
and combine the private life with artful grace and charm.
4. What can we expect to see from PanelPop in the future? Yarra
City Council are now separating and delivering their relevant waste to PanelPop
for repurposing. This means polystyrene (EPS) and timber from the council
district is having a second life as a PanelPop art surface. If we can create
this cyclic model interstate and o/s, we can build an environmentally
sustainable product that eats into our waste and taps into our creativity
whilst being insanely beautiful – that would be nice.
5. Share with us your easy eco living tip: Don’t buy over
packaged goods. Grow your own food. Look after people. Put a jumper on.
++ PanelPop ++