The Kitchen

FAÇADE Fest: Studio Sessions with Eric Metcalfe

As the official technical partner of the FAÇADE Festival, Go2 Productions provided two hands-on mentorship sessions to each of the five artists taking part in the festival, guiding them through the process of projection mapping. We also set up an additional introductory session with the artists so they could view examples of how creative can be altered or skewed once it is projected onto the surface. Go2 then provided the FAÇADE Fest with a four-foot model that could be used to test all of the artists’ creative works to give them a realistic idea of how each piece would work on the surface.

Eric Metcalfe’s art practice has crossed and merged disciplines from painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking to performance and film. Eric worked closely with Go2’s Art Director over two sessions, ensuring that his unique, elaborate paintings would be seamlessly projected onto the Vancouver Art Gallery. This involved strategic placement, and 3D wrapping of the creative.

Go2 worked closely with Eric to develop a series of 3D transitions that would create an illusion between each individual painting. The aim was to keep Eric’s creative vision intact and create a unique visual transition that would not only manipulate the building but would seamlessly guide the audience through the presentation.

We got Eric’s thoughts on the FAÇADE Fest and the process of getting his artwork ready.

FAÇADE Fest: Studio Sessions with Eric Metcalfe

1. Previously, you’ve worked in drawing, painting and performance art. What would you want our readers to know about your existing body of work?
Eric: I would have to say that my work has always been influenced by media such as comic books as a child, movies such as westerns, war and film noir, literature, classical music and jazz. Over the years I have been involved in several concept projects and collaborations. In 1973 I also collaborated with Kate Craig on Leopard Realty, which was an outdoor mural painted on the façade of the Vancouver Art Gallery (at its former location).

2. Describe your project for Façade. How did you come up with the idea?
Eric: I was really excited when the Burrard Arts Foundation approached me about the project. My initial idea was to portray works from my Stellar gouache series and eventually the work evolved to include the Leopard Realty piece as well – a homage to the 1973 mural.

3. How does working in video and projection mapping fit into, and contrast with, the content and mediums you’ve worked in before?
Eric: It opens up a whole new area to explore, a new technology that could be used in the toolkit for future use.

4. What have you learnt about your art through this process?
Eric: I can see now after my experience during the creative process with Go2 Productions that projection mapping offers a lot of potential to the realm of visual arts as well as being a new branch to explore.

5. What was it like working with the Go2 team?
Eric: I really like working with Go2 productions. They appreciated my creative practice and allowed for a carte-blanche approach.

6. What do you think of the integration of technology and artistic expression?
Eric: First of all, I’m an artist who chooses and works with the correct medium and the right tool for each project, keeping in mind how and where it will be viewed. In regards to the work I have created for Façade Festival 2016, using projection mapping to portray the work is the right method. It’s an exceptional opportunity – so different and exciting to do something outside of the traditional realm.

7. How did you come to collaborate with the Burrard Arts Foundation?
Eric: I was commissioned in 2014 to work with the Burrard Arts Foundation to work on a large indoor mural titled, Stellar. The mural is currently located within the interior lobby of the Burrard Building in downtown Vancouver 1030 West Georgia Street.

Eric’s project will be displayed Tuesday, August 30th from 8pm to 12am on the Robson Street side of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Follow the Façade Fest online with #facadefest. Full schedule here.

Text by Go2 Productions, Genevieve Michaels and Eric Metcalfe. 

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