Down the side of Ace Décor and the Kong Won Express, at the back of Regent Trading Estate, off Oldfield Road in Islington, an empty 8000sq ft warehouse unit has been transformed into a huge studio, where artist Maurice Carlin is creating Performance Publishing on a grand scale.
Over the next few months he's kind of creatively mapping the warehouse floor by dragging paint across four hundred huge sheets of white paper, taking impressions of the surface to build a massive artwork that will transform the interior of the building.
And while Maurice is working on the piece the public can watch, either live from a viewing platform at the warehouse (open until 24th July Wednesday - Saturday 1-6pm) or via a webcam relaying panoramic scenes to his website (www.mauricecarlin.com).
The warehouse project is part of the Islington Mill based artist's ongoing work, centred around publishing, that has seen him exhibit in London and Barcelona, and give talks recently in Beijing, as well as going public in Market Street in Manchester town centre.
"I started making these prints in my studio and then decided to take that process out onto the streets, like Market Street" says Maurice "Once I pitched up there people started to gather around and then you have almost a performance."
The technique Maurice uses involves putting a sheet of paper over a surface and, using a printing squeegee, dragging CMYK paint over it in layers so it leaves an other worldly, psychedelic impression… "Printing itself is about trying to create a precise process, an image as close as possible to the original" he adds "but these are more reflection on what information might be missing, they look almost like mis-developed photographs or satellite heat maps or something.
"It's a technique that was developed in ancient China where they did rubbings to take copies of inscriptions on monuments, and it meant that texts and poems and imagery were able to travel around China for the very first time – two thousand years before the internet" he explains "People think that Gutenberg invented publishing, as in the book form, but the DIY version existed already."
The project title is `Performance Publishing' and Maurice wants to make it as accessible as possible. He believes everyone can enjoy it…
"The reason I'm interested in this technique is that it's kind of democratic because it doesn't require any skill, anyone can do it" he laughs "I've noticed when I do it in public that people really love it when you drag the ink across and the image is revealed; it's a kind of magical moment – the moment when a white piece of paper becomes something. There isn't anything unnecessarily complex about it."
By the time the work is finished, around September, the interior of the warehouse should look absolutely stunning.
As well as public viewing times and the ongoing webcam images, there are going to be special events at the warehouse during the work's creation, with one already planned for July 5th. Further details will be announced on the Islington Mill website www.islingtonmill.com as part of the Mill's Summer Programme. The event also coincides with the Manchester International Festival.
Unit 5, Regent Trading Estate, off Oldfield Road, Islington
The warehouse is at the back of the Trading Estate, keep going straight down the path past the other units on the right.
Until July 24th Wednesday - Saturday 1-6pm
Open via appointment 25th July to 29th Sept
For webcam views and further details on the artist see www.mauricecarlin.com
Photos by Steve Iles