Factum Foundation is working with Strawberry Hill House to create a series of facsimilies of paintings from Horace Walpole’s original collection (sold in 1842, now dispersed worldwide). Two works have been completed and are now at Strawberry Hill. The next painting to be reproduced is Allan Ramsay’s vast double portrait of Walpole's nieces in the MFA, Boston. When complete, it will fill the end wall of Walpole’s famous crimson and gold Gallery. After Boston a Foundation team will be recording the 33 copies of Holbein drawings by Vertue at Sudeley Castle.
In March this year, the Foundation, using a donation specifically for the project, recorded the Sarcophagus of Seti I, which today is the centre piece of Sir John Soane’s Museum in London having been brought there in 1824.
The sarcophagus, made out of a single block of alabaster, with detailed carving along its sides and on the interior, was 3D scanned in high resolution using photogrammetry. The data has now been processed and the results are extraordinary. Read more news here.
Factum Foundation has commissioned Nathaniel Mann to provide a musical sense to the Mindful Hands. Masterpieces of Illumination exhibition at the Fundazione Giorgio Cini in Venice (September 2016 - January 2017) to emphasise the theatrical ritual value of the images within the logic of C14th and C15th forms of religious discipline. In order to evoke the penitential and meditative path of accompanying the last steps of those condemned to death, Factum Arte has produced an installation that brings out the profound sense of how the Martirologio was used by the Ferrarese brotherhood of the Battuti Neri.
In adding the musical sense Nathaniel Mann has “purified” the sound of Gregorian chants, recorded by Fr Pellegrino Ernetti in the 1960/70s, by processing digital signals that at the time of Ernetti’s research were not available, improving the natural tones and revealing new music.
The frescoes of the icon painter Dionisy (ca. 1440–1502) at the Ferapontov Monastery, in northern Russia, are one of the great examples of early C16th Russian art. They create an intensely light-filled space within the small Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin. The frescoes are well known for their exceptional completeness. The Iconostasis was removed from the cathedral, which is now part of the museum of the monastery. Factum Foundation was recently at Ferapontov with the aim of understanding how to approach the digitisation of the interior of the cathedral. In collaboration with the Peri Foundation, a pilot project will take place in mid-October. Read more news here.
Factum Foundation is proud to announce the full excavation, 3D scanning and safe reburial of the Cochno Stone, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland’s largest and best example of Neolithic or Bronze Age (3000 to 2000 BC) cup and ring markings that was buried in 1965 to prevent its being vandalised. The aim is to draw attention to one of Scotland’s most important but most neglected prehistoric sites, with a view to gathering support for the production of a 1:1 facsimile. Read more news here.
A team from the Foundation spent a week in Lebanon in June - whilst there eight early Stela from the monumental site of Nahr El Kalb were recorded with close range photogrammetry. This was the final recording effort on the site started in 2014 and a team is processing the data to hand over to the Ministry of Culture in Lebanon. While working in Nahr el Kalb the team spent two days demonstrating the technology to Akram Zaatari at the Arab Image Fdt. which has built a major archive of photographic records around the Middle East.
Work in the tomb of Seti I came to a temporary pause as the temperatures in Luxor make work very difficult in the Summer. Attention has focused on processing and archiving the data while work in Stoppelaere house does continue under the direction of Tarek Waly. Attention is now focused on the restoration of the mud brick using a team of local craftsmen. Follow the projects here.
The Foundation has been working extensively with the V&A for the Venice Biennale on a special project running from 28 May – 27 November 2016 called A World of Fragile Parts, which explores the threats facing the preservation of global heritage sites and how the production of copies can aid in the preservation of cultural artefacts. Copies and scans have emerged as a way of mitigating risk by providing valuable records and offering alternatives for a demanding public who want to experience historical sites and objects first-hand.
Masterpiece Fair is over and Factum Foundation's elaborate stand, designed by Charlotte Skene Catling, has come back to Madrid. The team demonstrated that it really is possible to record an artwork at very high resolution in a short time, archive it, and process it so that the work can be re-materialised using an array of new technologies alongside traditional craft skills, and this was evidenced by the feeling of excitement mixed with shock by those who came across our facsimiles. Read more news here.
Factum Arte is working with the Redstone Press to produce a series of prints (both photographic images and tactile works) for The Blind Photographer exhibition, that has opened its doors to the public at the Galerie Huit in Arles on the 28th July, and will run until September 24th. The exhibition features the work of 29 blind photographers and will include a group of 10 tactile interpretations made by Constanza Dessain. These tactile prints have achieved a genuine shift from one sense to another allowing blind and partially sighted people to feel the images with their finger tips. Read more about the project here. Read more news here.
The new book scanner which is being created to record fragile manuscripts in Daghestan is nearing completion at the Crevi workshop. This scanner was made to digitise books in the State Archive in Makachkala but will also be used to record the manuscripts that are held around the country in the collections of Islamic Scholars, madrassas and Mosques. This project is being developed in conjunction with the the Peri Foundation and the Juma Al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage, in Dubai. Read more news here.
Factum´s Otto Lowe is currently exploring ways of recording iron filing structures created by magnetic fields in high detail using photogrammetry. This is being done on an experimental level for the Saudi artist Ahmed Mater. The goal is to produce a sculpture of a photograph taken by Mater of iron filings surrounding a black cube, reminiscent of the pilgrims circumambulating the Kaaba in Mecca. Tests are ongoing to find a way to record hundreds of different models in order to remodel them to resemble the photograph. Read more news here.
Alexander Peck from Factum Foundation spent a day in the site of Little Petra testing mid-range photogrammetry on some of the site´s façades, in preparation for a potential pilot project to record the site using long, mid and short-range recording techniques, as well as potentially digitally restoring some of Little Petra´s frescoes in collaboration with the Inspirational Development Group (IDG) as part of a training course for a group of young Jordanians to record their own cultural heritage. Read more news here.
The table of Teschen is now in the Musée du Louvre, Paris, while the exact replica is back in the Chateau de Breteuil, after the work was featured at Factum Foundation´s stall at the Masterpiece Art Fair in London at the end of June, where it attracted a great deal of attraction. Table symbolises the intersection of art, design, politics and the natural sciences in the eighteenth century, and its facsimile is an excellent example of what can be achieved when digital crafts and traditional artisans meet to create something symbolic and beautiful. Read more news here.
Alex, Eva and Ferdinand from Factum Foundation are back in Madrid & London, post-processing the data they obtained during their month recording the mosque at Kala-Koreysh, Daghestan. The site involved recording with high resolution photograsmmetry, and is an initiative forms part of a collaboration between Factum Foundation and the Ziyavudin Magomedov Charitable Peri Foundation to record objects of cultural significance in Daghestan using a range of 3D scanning techniques. Read the full story here.
Lucida Lab Milano is a laboratory specialized in digital technology in conservation run by Carlos Bayod and Guendalina Damone, launched thanks to a collaboration between Factum Foundation and Open Care Milano (a Milan-based conservation and restoration laboratory and art services workshop). The Foundation is continuously looking forward to great things and the amount of work that we are seeing in Milan is encouraging because what we do and what we stand for is beginning to resonate strongly within the conservation and heritage communities. Read more news here.
The Veronica Scanner - Live 3D Portraiture event at the RA in London is open from 2nd to the 10th of September.
This is a collaboration between Factum Foundation, the Royal Academy and the Rothschild Foundation and places can be booked on the RA website.
Factum’s Veronica Scanner, which uses photogrammetry to record highly objective portraits, has been installed in the Royal Academy of Arts. Around 40 members of the public will be scanned each day over 10 days. In real time, some of the scans will be processed on site and rematerailised through additive (3D printing) and subtractive (robot wood carving) processes. Sitters will receive a 3D model of their scan within a few days.
Facsimiles at Masterpiece
The Foundation was at the Masterpiece event in London during July and its stand was rather different from the others who clustered around it - they were there to present some of the wonders of our heritage and they were wonders - for sale.
The diversity of objects, the levels of opulence of some and the nihilistic blankness of others presented a marvellous journey through what the world's collectors want to see and own. The quality of all the works was breathtaking - the details of marquetry, painting, gilding, polishing, carving, engineering, metalwork and, of course artistic skill were tremendous and the sheer scale of the event and of its contents was breathtaking.
Quietly placed between two of the world's great antique dealers was the stand for the Foundation. Designed by Charlotte Skene Catling and Adam Lowe it was a discrete theatre , dramatically and beautifully exhibiting some of the work of the Foundation and its aims. The Teschen Table (now in the Louvre) facsimile enticed visitors past the Cluny Christ - created in Madrid and which baffled every inspection - and through a series of monochrome flats secreted behind which were shelves and boxes and openings containing objects that represented the variety of work of the Foundation.
All the objects were facsimiles - and they all had an important place in the story of preservation.
That was the play that was being performed - it was the physical proof that technology now allows us to do things we only dreamed of until recently. When Henry Cole wrote the 'Convention for Universally Reproducing Works of Art for the Benefit of all Museums’ in 1867 - 150 years ago and the basis for the creation of the V&A - what we can do now was not even a dream, but it was anticipated.
The work of the Foundation places the emphasis on recording, using highly advanced technology (much developed in house) sufficient to make an exact physical copy. The recording is deeply important - recording in as much detail as can reasonably be done. The creation of facsimiles like those tiny examples hiding behind the flats of the Foundation exhibit at Masterpiece - can then be a choice. What is important and what is unique about the Foundation is that the single criterion used for recording is matched with a profound desire to find ways to re-create where it is needed and that is what the Foundation does daily in its workshops.
So, surrounded by objects that have been cherished and polished and burnished and restored to a brilliance only dealers in antiques and works of art can do, the facsimiles in their little theatre told their story eloquently and forcefully and truthfully to the often bemused visitors.
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