The Atrium Monoprint

Gardiner has observed, during trips to ancient locations, visits to the British Museum and more recently to the new Acropolis Museum in Athens, how different cultures have used murals to cover walls with subjects related to their own history. Examples can be found in the Etruscan ceramic panels with images of lions and in Egyptian reliefs covering façades which survive to this day. The Greeks and Romans used wall coverings for civic buildings and temples, like the Parthenon for example. His homage to this practice is a monumental monoprint to accompany his exhibition of paintings ‘Turning the Tide’.

Gardiner’s interpretation takes the shape of a vertical monoprint measuring 11 metres high by 2.5 metres wide. This monoprint shows the rocks at Kimmeridge Bay which were once the floor of a deep, tropical sea rich in pre-historic life. They were formed in the Jurassic period, 155 million years ago. The rock layers are like the pages in a book and the fossils they contain tell a story on each page. Each rock layer provides a window allowing us to look back through geological time. The sequence of rocks at Kimmeridge provides such an excellent record of this part of the Jurassic Coast, that geologists have adopted Kimmeridgian as the term for rocks of this age all around the world.

Reading from top to bottom this monoprint begins with contour patterns seen from the air captured by LiDAR, an optical remote sensing technology that can measure the change in elevation of the landscape using pulses from a laser. The contour patterns are printed from an etched steel plate. The contour lines are from the same grid reference as the topographical drawing of Kimmeridge Bay which can be seen in the top third of the print.  This drawing is from an etched copper plate. Clavell Tower, a cliff top folly built in 1851 which overlooks the bay can be seen on the top of the hill in the line drawing. The tower was also the subject of a Shell Poster by Paul Nash in 1935.  In the middle of the print is a fragmented ochre slab, a reference to the strata at Kimmeridge. Between the contour lines and trapped at the very bottom in the strata of the rock is a woodblock print of an ‘Asterocas’, an ammonite which has been deposited there 155 million years ago.