The first time I saw the Eduardo Paolozzi Moonstrips portfolio (below) I wanted to own it. The problem of owning 100 screenprints (by one artist) however was not lost on me. I wondered if I could build a frame to hold all of the prints at once and display one at a time. Then I imagined that I could simply rotate the prints every so often. Almost the perfect picture frame.
It would be a frame that was a framework for frames, making the frame work harder. That's too many puns isn't it. Anyway it felt like a good idea so I made a small model of how it might work,
The box had a open space at the top to put pages back and one at the side to take them out.
Perhaps obviously the front will need a piece cut out to help the removal of the front piece of paper. Otherwise I think it should all work pretty well. I wonder whether the side panel wants to be open or whether it would be better as a panel with a hinge.
So after looking at this for two minutes I realized that that the process should be reversed. Pieces should be pulled out from the back and placed in the front. This way the thumb hole could be on the back piece and not intrude on the view on the front panel. So I made a sketch.
I was a bit worried that the join on the two open sides would be too weak but the guys at Canal Plastics know their work, so I thought I'd use their expertise.
So then a week later they had it glued. I picked it up and unwrapped it.
What I didn't see coming was my mistake. The thumb hole which was a good idea, became a bad idea once I extended the height of the box to accommodate the 'L' shape piece on the right hand side. This L shaped piece was introduced at the recommendation of the Canal Plastics people and now because of the extra height you can't touch the paper inside using the thumb hole. Humpf.
So I got them to extend the cut, which they did at minimal expense.
So here is the finished frame up with a Richard Mosse image in it. Perfect example. A way to frame a nice picture, when you can't buy a print, you can still put it up nicely.
And this is the grand moment when I realize how foolish I've been. The frame isn't very elegant in the above image. The thumb hole doesn't really make for nice viewing. In my mind you needed both slits (side & top) to enable the user to reach in and change the image. This was a good idea until you try and do it and realize that it's nigh on impossible to do without taking the frame off the wall.
If you can take the frame off the wall then two slits aren't needed and one will do. So all this was a waste! I say waste, I mean useful exploration. So back to Canal Plastics I go to make another box that will snugly fit US letter size pages.
So first I made a quick model from foam board to test what I thought might be the answer. A touch awkward due to the construction but I think it'll work.
After I decided this would work I got an updated final version below.
And so there is a functioning multi frame, or frame works. So funny. Simple, pretty effective. It was quite a nice lesson to make something overly complex only to be shown that the simple way was far more effective.
This could obviously be at any size and in ideal scenario you might have a few on one wall. Also, one this deep will hold a lot of papers, 30-40 sheets, so it could easily be half the depth. But I think I've filled it now.