In 2021, London-based American artist, Loreal Prystaj, used Phototex self-adhesive fabric as a key component in her unique art installation, Nude Pepper, in the ‘Around the Table’ exhibition at No.20 Arts Gallery in Islington, London. The installation was removed, stored and then reinstalled at the Photo London 2021, at Somerset House in September. It has since been removed again and is available to reinstall should Loreal wish.
During the ‘Around the Table’ exhibition at No.20 Arts, Nude Pepper was an immersive kitchen space that Loreal Prystaj invited the viewer to consume and be consumed by its sights, scents, and sounds. “As I was developing this piece, I knew that Phototex was the material I needed for the wall covering,” said Loreal, who first used this fully recyclable, self-adhesive fabric for her degree show at the Royal College of Art. “Phototex was like nothing I had used before. It is very easy to apply, remove and then reapply. This is so important for me as it is hugely frustrating to work with products that are tricky to install and allow no margin for trial and error. What I love about Phototex is that I can quickly remove bubbles and creases and if it has been installed slightly crooked, it is very easy to remove and replace exactly as I want it.”
Derric Landor, Managing Director of Landor UK, the exclusive European distributor of Phototex, says, “This application is a perfect example of how Phototex can deliver a very positive environmental impact. As well as being a 100% recyclable product, by reusing Phototex time and again, we can save valuable resources, cost and time. For art galleries and museums in particular, Loreal has shown that by reusing displays in different locations and buildings, there is a real benefit to them and the environment.”
Loreal adds, “Phototex is really strong and doesn’t tear like actual wallpapers or stretch like most vinyls, no matter how many times you apply it. As a visual Artist who relies 100% on photorealistic reproduction, this is absolutely vital and a key reason why Phototex is so important to use for my work.”
Nude Pepper was asked to exhibit in Photo London by Kovet.Art, after the founders, Saras Rachupalli and Camilla Grimaldi saw the work at No.20 Arts and asked if Loreal could show the project at their Somerset House event. “Derric from Landor UK explained to me how easy it would be to remove the Phototex in such a way that I could easily use the material again. It involved rolling the media onto a non-porous roll and essentially enabling the adhesive to stick to itself. He said I could then reapply it in exactly the same way as before in the new location. This is what I did and it worked perfectly!” There was no change to the performance and quality of the adhesive when i removed it and no residue anywhere left behind.
Phototex has a receptive coating that enables hugely detailed inkjet printing and produces vibrant and striking finished images. The unique, patented adhesive allows for fast, easy application and it can be removed and re-applied and doesn’t leaves any residue or damage to the surface.
Loreal concludes, “I am very thankful to Landor UK for helping me with this project. As an artist, I want to use products that maximise the impact of my work, but this is not always possible because of budget and availability. Landor has been so helpful in making this material accessible and affordable for me, which I believe is vital to the success of this installation! Being able to use the same materials again, with no loss of quality or waste of product has been a huge advantage. It’s amazing how useful Phototex has been in displaying this art project – not once – but twice – and hopefully again and again!”