In 1911-12, Walter Burley Griffin entered and won the competition to design the new capital of Australia. The winning designs, rendered by Marion Mahony Griffin, are a treasured part of the National Archives collection. They are also listed on UNESCO's Australian Memory of the World register.
The quality of Marion Mahony's renderings has not diminished with age. Her panoramic visions, drawn on cloth and highlighted in gold leaf, are as much fine art as they are a historic connection to the early days of landscape architecture.
The National Archives approached Screenmakers to assist with the creation of a permanent exhibition dedicated to these early design renderings of Canberra.
As it would be impractical to use the originals, the National Archives asked Screenmakers to assist in creating high quality digital replicas of the original artwork. Screenmakers recommended Rob Little Digital Images to scan and produce high quality digital imagery from the original renderings that would be used to produce the prints.
Once the complex and difficult task of scanning the original artwork was complete, time was invested in finding a print material that would reflect the original canvas. A synthetic canvas (Mimaki Canvas) was ultimately chosen for the gallery prints.
The high resolution scans were then printed onto the canvas with careful attention paid to ensure the colours were output correctly. The artworks were stretched over timber frames and hung on the walls using split battens.
Each of the prints also had vinyl cut text with memorable quotes from Walter Burley Griffin applied to the walls nearby.
The final result is a permanent exhibition of artwork that provides visitors to the National Archives closer access to these wonderful early designs of Canberra.