Manhoru

Back to work, I realise my studio is a mess. I’m in full production of City Shields.

© 2016 Louise Levergneux

© 2016 Louise Levergneux

© 2016 Louise Levergneux

© 2016 Louise Levergneux

© 2016 Louise Levergneux

© 2016 Louise Levergneux

My curiosity grows with the pile of manhole covers. Has the manhole cover become a point of interest for other artists? I continue my search on the internet after communicating with Lucinda Ziesing featured on my blog post dated June 26th. Artists and graphic designers all over the world have noticed and are inspired by these works of urban design on our city streets.

My latest find is a wonderful fluoro colour publication entitled Overlooked, the 45th publication produced by design studio Pentagram in the UK. This colourful book celebrates the “gatekeepers” to the subterranean world beneath London’s streets.

© 2016 Pentagram Paper

© 2016 Pentagram Paper

After many hours of searching, I discover Remo Camerota, a dedicated manhole cover photographer. Camerota’s new book, Drainspotting, is dedicated to the his fans or the ‘manhoru’ maniacs. Manhoru is the Japanese word for ‘manhole’. A trip to Japan is worthwhile just to photograph the brightly painted manhoru covers.

Remo Camerota, Cherry Blossoms by Tokyo Five

Remo Camerota, Cherry Blossoms by Tokyo Five

Going down the rabbit hole, I come across Russell Muits, a graphic designer who embarked on a coast-to-coast odyssey. Muits travelled from Camden, New Jersey, to Seattle, Washington, and back. Russell searched out unusual manhole covers and, through hands-on application of ink and canvas, transformed the covers into prints. We share the same goal of finding every interesting manhole cover across the US. Of course my goal is to add the cities of the Canadian provinces.

Aaron Windhorst, Philadelphia Daily News/TNS

Aaron Windhorst, Philadelphia Daily News/TNS

How can I finance City Shields and the travel to attain my goal? Any ideas?

 

Printing Session

I received my ink, I replaced the old cartridges and I’m ready to print again. 

Printing is a long process, there’s lots of waiting. Wait, add a new sheet, check the print settings, send the print job and wait... 

This stretch gives me time to reminisce on trips and places I’ve visited to create the volumes of City Shields. Many memories float in my mind of scenes experienced throughout the Incessant Journey.

© 2010 Louise Levergneux, crossing the Utah, Nevada border on Friday, May 13

© 2010 Louise Levergneux, crossing the Utah, Nevada border on Friday, May 13

© 2011 Louise Levergneux, walking on West San Francisco Street in Santa-Fe in the early morning

© 2011 Louise Levergneux, walking on West San Francisco Street in Santa-Fe in the early morning

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, searching for manhole covers on Woolman Street in Butte, Montana

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, searching for manhole covers on Woolman Street in Butte, Montana

Sheet after sheet, printing is going well. With patience, I sit and search the Internet to view kinetic sculptures. I stop on a sculpture by Varol Topaç’s which amuses me.

I enjoy viewing kinetic sculptures on YouTube, it keeps me calm. I also find it a good time to keep current on the discipline. If I pursue other activities while printing many sheets…yes, multitasking!... I lose track of where I am, confusion sets in, the printer stops and I don’t realise it. These videos help me to stay focused and I can concentrate on the next print. A little icon jumps back and forth on the right side of the screen when the printer is not functioning properly. You’ve seen it! It’s not always good news!

The latest fascinating installation at Changi Airport, Singapore, was conceived by Art+Com, a German design firm. This kinetic sculpture led by Jussi Angesleva, a German-based Finnish artist, helps me to unwind while I wait. Does it works for you?


As we travel the world, we are often fascinated and often find a new muse to work within our imagination. As we discover new cities, we are mindful to what differs from back home. Many photographers and artists stumble on the manhole cover as a new interest.

Artist Lucinda Ziesing found a magnificent cast iron manhole cover inscribed with Telefonica Espana lying on a Barcelona sidewalk. Lucinda, awed by its presence and industrial design, is drawn to record its surface. 

Since her trip to Barcelona in 2006, Lucinda has made rubbings wherever she travels. As artists we both have these portals to the underground in common, “It’s a way to connect to places”, she says.

 I begin by making a rubbing of a utilitarian surface on a sheet of mylar with a litho crayon. Then in my studio, I add oil paint, sand, and repaint until the work is done. I noticed mandalas and labyrinth designs in the utility covers in Italy, which evolved into paintings and catch the stillness in the streets.

Lucinda’s Public Works were exhibited at 10 High Street Gallery in Camden, Maine. These paintings tell a story of portholes right under our feet.

© 2016 Lucinda Ziesing, Lucinda, unknowingly the collage of a New Orleans water meter rubbing and a rubbing from the floor in Pompeii painting have a curious connection. The date of the Vesuvius and Katrina natural disasters is August 24th. No accidents, Right?

© 2016 Lucinda Ziesing, Lucinda, unknowingly the collage of a New Orleans water meter rubbing and a rubbing from the floor in Pompeii painting have a curious connection. The date of the Vesuvius and Katrina natural disasters is August 24th. No accidents, Right?

© 2016 Lucinda Ziesing

© 2016 Lucinda Ziesing

© 2016 Lucinda Ziesing

© 2016 Lucinda Ziesing

© 2016 Lucinda Ziesing

© 2016 Lucinda Ziesing


Shit, my printer is spitting black ink, got to go!!@!?