Piers Bourke's life has always been about art, he trained as a painter and sculptor at the University of West England where he gained a BA whilst indulging his passion for perspective and Renaissance art. He spent a lot of time at college exploring different methods to express his painting and experimental three dimensional works. Photography was simply one of the mediums he investigated and something he later went back to as the input method for his work. Much of Piers's 3D work is very complex and fragile to create; it's an unusual mix between sculpture and two-dimensional art. His work is created by using digital prints on wooden panels, which are arranged to exploit the 3D life of the image. By drawing on the natural three dimensional planes, his work creates a more active and involved vision of the original photograph.

The world of art is usually a subjective experience for the viewer and yet also an introspective place for most artists. They often battle a fine line between striving to produce work to satisfy their own interpretation whilst still pursuing recognition and appreciation from their audience. Piers had already achieved success in his career; he was being exhibited in London and Hong Kong and had several solo shows both in London and France. Yet he increasingly felt he still wanted more control in all stages of the creative process.

Piers was lucky enough to have launched his career within the era of affordable digital cameras, this gave him the chance to experiment and devise a route he could pursue without a prohibitive cost. ‘Digital format gave me the chance to explore further', he said ‘but I quickly identified to improve the quality of my images was to improve the quality of my equipment'. Piers bought a Canon EOS 5D Mll which certainly gave him the quality of image he needed, but also highlighted the need for different quality of output.

Piers' introduction to the world of wide format was very much cost driven. He was conscious that the cheapest methods ultimately compromised the output he was receiving. ‘I outsourced my printing as it was one less thing to focus on. I understood what colours I wanted to see and would carefully work out the colour settings. My instructions would be detailed but I did not fully understand the scope available to me, and this could change depending on the solution the printing house was using. I was facing inconsistent results and would often receive prints that needed some form of adjustment.' This is something he would have done in house had he the equipment to do so. However as his images were outsourced the costs to make any adjustments, even minor, became prohibitive. But as an artist this was exactly the area he wanted control over. ‘There was no doubt in my mind, cost was limiting my creativity. I realised I needed to know far more about finishing and what sort of results were realistic for me to achieve in-house.'

It was not really until he met a photographer at an art fair, whose work was printed on a Canon iPF8300, that he realised just what was possible in-house. ‘I had always presumed the sort of finished I wanted was only available with high cost professional printing. I was amazed by the sort of quality that could be produced using a Canon Large Format Printer'.

Now with the world of affordable print beckoning, Piers started to research what his best option might be. He ordered a print of the Canon iPF6300 from Sample Print, the Canon print sample website, and then took a trip to the annual Canon Pro Photo Solutions show at the Business Design Centre in Islington. It was there he meets Kadfire, a reseller who specialised in selling Canon large format printing solutions. ‘I was really impressed with the knowledge and service I received,' Piers remembers, ‘Kadfire were happy to spend time with me and listened to my requirements. They seemed to understand what I wanted to achieve and subsequently spent a few hours with me, printing out my own images to make sure I was happy with the finish and quality of the large format printers.'

Whilst not entirely new to the world of printing, Piers was still dubious about being able to produce the results he had seen both at the show and in Kadfire's showroom. But he was given the right level of support to make certain of the results. ‘All the profiles were pre-set for me, nobody was pushy or wanted to hurry me, they seemed to have a genuine interest in my work and producing it in the best way possible. The level of support was obvious from the beginning and something I knew was essential if I was going to be successful printing my own images. I do not believe I would have contemplated buying if I did not have the trust in the support on offer.'

Piers bought the Canon, 24 inch, ImagePROGRAF, iPF6300, which has a 12 colour LUCIA EX pigment ink set, high precision printing modes and account management which tells the user how much ink and media they are using. It produces an A1 gloss image in only 4 minutes and the built in colour calibration means there is no need for any external devices. The printer gives Piers plenty of opportunity to experiment with his work.

‘I've lost three years in creative freedom;' Piers said ‘before cost would dictate how much work I would produce. I can now rework as much as I need to get my work the way I want it. I never thought I could have a printer producing these sorts of results, previously I only believed it possible though a professional printers. I now know otherwise!'

Piers Bourke's work is displayed in London and New York at Rebecca Hossack's Gallery as well as in Hong Kong at the Cat Street Gallery. Piers work will also be displayed as part of a group show to launch the opening of Rebecca Hossack's latest gallery in New York in July.


Source by Ruddy D Watson