Trish and I have installed several large scale wheat paste murals over the past few years. I’m really impressed with their longevity and the over all quality achieved with an image created with a tiny 35mm black and white negative, printed on 20 lb. bond paper, then wheat pasted to a wall.
“Roper”, our largest mural to date is 9′ high and 22′ across (April 2018). It’s located at the rear of 310 Stewart Street in Carson City, Nevada (not visible from Stewart Street). This image was created with a modified Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic 35” disposable camera reloaded with Kodak Tri-X black & white film. The panoramic crop is created within the camera, so the negative is really quite small. Yet, I find the quality of this image to be nothing short of amazing, unless, of course you’re standing just a few feet away. At that point you’ll see the grain of the film and the wonderful flaws of a crappy plastic camera.
Watch a time-lapse of us installing “Roper” click here
“Sorting” is another one of my disposable camera images, it’s 5′ x 13′. It is located in the alleyway behind the Western Folklife Center at 510 Railroad Street, Elko, Nevada. The image above was shot just after it was installed in November of 2016.
Same mural in August 2018 almost two years on, it is looking a bit tattered, but it’s deteriorating in such a splendid way, I can’t help but love this wheat paste more as it ages.
With the exception of the top image “Roper”, these are true wheat paste installations, meaning we cook up flour and water with a little sugar at the end, let it cool and then roll it on the surfaces as well as over the top of the print as the only glue. For “Roper”, we used industrial grade wall paper adhesive, as Carson City was looking for a longer lasting “temporary art” installation. The Carson City mural site faces west and is blasted every afternoon by the hot Nevada sun. The Elko murals are in an alleyway protecting them from Nevada’s weather extremes.
“Mustang Windmill” same camera, 5′ x 13′, was located in the alleyway behind the Carlin Trend Building in Elko, Nevada. It didn’t fare so well, as it got tagged shortly after it went up, but then, water from snow melt ran off the side of the building down the wall, mostly destroying the image all together. We removed it’s carcass after three short months.
“Roping”, 5′ x 7′ by Trish Reynolds was created using a 1920’s Kodak Brownie camera loaded with Ilford FP-4 120 film. This was the first large scale public art installation Trish and I collaborated on (Nov. 2016).
“Roping”, almost two years later, has taken on an entirely new look (August 2018).
The alleyway behind the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada (March 2017)
“Antelope Shute” 7′ x 7′ and “Horses at Potts” 7′ x 17′ Elko, Nevada (Feb. 2017).
“Horses at Potts” at 4th & Idaho in downtown Elko, Nevada. This site too, didn’t fare well, as the abandoned building doesn’t have gutters and the water (snow melt) from the roof pours off the side down the walls, making quick work of destroying the murals. Only a small amount of “Horses at Potts” is visible between political signs as of August 2018.
We love putting these murals up. It’s equally fun to install them, as it is to watch them gracefully disintegrate. Looking forward to the next installation!