This installation redraws the popular Morris and Co. Wallpaper ‘Thistle,’ designed by John Henry Dearle in the late 19th century, into an inhabitable visual environment, establishing the wallpaper as intersection for various forms of knowledge. Traditionally, walls act as a support for hanging pictures, distinctly separating the structural from the pictorial. The layers of Big Will and Friends produce a visual thickness that melds the thin scrim wall with the painted pattern, blurring the distinction between the pictorial and the material properties of its architectural support. The scrim material produces shifting visual effects as the light changes throughout the day, causing the viewer’s perception to oscillate between material deployed as image, and image deployed as material.
The project has exhibited in venues in Syracuse, New York and Eindhoven, Netherlands. At each exhibition new friends were invited to perform and inhabit the installation to perceptually extend or flatten its visual space. The accompanying live performances and videos bridge the installation with its environment and with the inhabitant’s perception of their wallpapered surroundings.