Tony Windberg: barrier grid animation within printed glass

Great things come in small packages, and this is certainly the case with Tony Windberg’s latest installation ‘Waterline’, which uses printed glass to achieve a barrier grid animation with fantastic effect.

As part of the Percent for Art Scheme, Tony Windberg was selected to produce a site-specific artwork for Cape Naturalist College, located in Vasse, 240km south west of Perth.Known for its natural beauty, tourism and wine industry, the area attracts significant local development and is a popular destination come summer holidays.

Set on eight hectares, the college has added a new 500 sqm year seven learning facility to the campus. Teaming with Matthew Robinson, Design Architect at HASSELL, Tony developed a garden-bed and seating structure to support and visually ‘frame’ a printed glass artwork at the new learning facility. The intention was for a 3 dimensional arrangement of 2 dimensional printed glass panels, which would be viewed from multiple angles and very importantly, by students also on the move.

‘From the start, kinetic interaction was a key factor in the artwork engaging with the intended audience.’ Tony explains in describing his approach to the project. ‘I wanted to challenge children who are used to small hi-tech gadgetry and touch-screens, to appreciate large low-tech devices that only work when they – the viewer – physically move. The reward for this activity was to be an assortment of visual trickery – changing scenes and colours, pockets of apparent movement, and even objects that disappeared and reappeared.’

‘As the external artwork was to be exposed to the elements and sunlight over many years, lightfastness was critical. I needed an alternative to digitally printed films which only gave short-term guarantees against fading and colour-shift. After extensive research, I honed in on the enormous potential of direct digital printing on glass with Cooling Brothers Glass Company’s ImagInk process. Having un-printed areas in one panel would enable the viewer to look through these ‘windows’ and line up the missing trees with the other panels, completing the picture.’

Tony Windberg ‘Waterline’ – barrier animation, Cape Naturalist College, Western Australia from Cooling Brothers on Vimeo.

‘The possibilities of printing on separate layers of glass within a laminated makeup gave me enough image separation to play with shifting alignments, allowing the animated effects I hoped to achieve. I also pushed my exploration of ‘moire’ interference patterns to achieve depth and movement, including water ripples that appeared to expand on approach. Through a detailed sampling process I was able to confirm this technique would work, allowing the concept to move from research and experimentation to artwork production and glass manufacture’

Tony’s project may be small in volume, however it is comprehensive in terms of technique and manufacturing complexity. The glass makeup consists of 2 pieces of 6mm toughened low iron glass within a 14.28mm thickness which includes a structural SGP interlayer. The clarity of the low iron glass allowed Tony to maximise the effects of the contrasting clear ‘windows’ in the artwork design, and ensure accurate reproduction of colours. The glass is installed using 50mm diameter 316 stainless standoff fittings, a typical balustrade style fixing solution.


‘Waterline’ by Tony Windberg

Architect Hassell

Installer Cooling Brothers

Glass  14.28mm Custom Laminate with digital ceramic printing

Further information on the processes featured in this project can be found below:

Cooling Brothers Pty Ltd.

600450 Tony Windberg: barrier grid animation within printed glass

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