Metro is delighted to be involved in a unique photographic project in celebration of the humble pencil.  ‘The Secret Life of the Pencil’ by creative design and photographic team Mike Tinney and Alex Hammond takes an inspired look beyond the obvious exterior of the modest stylus.

The pleasure of a freshly sharpened pencil or frustration of a shattered lead could be something the touch-screen generation of today will never experience.  This photographic project seeks to savour the use of pencils – documenting them in stunning detail, showing the secrets of their use and revealing an insight into their users: professionals who have defined themselves and their craft with its use.

This collection of some sixty beautifully detailed and crafted pencil images portray this simple but iconic item with contributions from artists, photographers, designers and actors including Paul Smith, Stephen Fry, Sir James Dyson, Christopher Reid and Nick Park amongst many others.  The images link back to some of the 20th and 21st centuries’ greatest illustrations, buildings, artworks, photographs, products, make-up designs, graphics, novels, poems, fashion, cartoons and even films.

Metro has produced 15 framed limited edition prints for the online charity auction which opens on 19th May in support of Children in Crisis, plus over 50 exhibition prints produced on a variety of medium including metallic papers, Giclée papers, prints to aluminium using our Direct to Media printer, C type matt prints and prints reverse Perspex mounted to aluminium.

Additionally prints will be available to buy through the Paul Smith flagship shop in Oxford Street, made possible utilising Metro’s plug-in print sales tool.

Project launch & Exhibition: 19th May – 3rd June 2015
Paul Smith Store, No. 9 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BL.

London Charity Auction Powered by Paddle8 Online Auction House
From 6pm 19th May 2015 – 8:30pm 3rd June 2015

For more information about The Secret Life of the Pencil
For details of the charity auction

Images © Alex Hammond/Mike Tinney
1. William Boyd
2. Sir James Dyson
3. Tom Dixon

Metro is delighted once again to have worked with British photographer Dan Holdsworth producing and finishing C-type prints for his new exhibition Spatial Objects which opened in Southampton this week.

Shown here for the first time, ‘Spatial Objects’ is the result of Holdsworth’s ongoing enquiry into contemporary photographic processes and what he calls the ‘surface interface of the image’ within today’s digital, media-saturated visual culture.  In computer science, ‘spatial objects’ refer to values that exist within a specific place simultaneously in the real and the virtual spheres.

Spatial Objects is presented alongside some of Holdsworth’s most significant bodies of work from the past five years, Blackout (2010), and Transmission: New Remote Earth Views (2012) which marked the beginning of his explorations into the interface between analogue and digital processes, and the geological and technological world.  Through his recent use of digital mapping data, Holdsworth expands the photographic process in order to develop a new aesthetic language that explores the changing nature of human perception in relation to that of out evolving science and technologies.

Southampton City Art Gallery, Civic Centre Road, Southampton SO14 7LP

Exhibition dates: 9th May  – 31st August 2015
Opening times: Monday to Friday: 10:00am-3:00pm; Saturdays: 10am – 5pm,: Sundays: Closed

Admission to the exhibition is free

For information about the exhibition
For information about Dan Holdsworth

Images © Dan Holdsworth

 LIT Limerick School of Art & Design Student Sarah O’Neill creates unique textile pieces with Metro’s Direct To Media printing technology…

Direct to Media Printing is a large format, inkjet printing process which allows you to print your work directly to a flat substrate of your choice -eg, plywood, perspex, slate, leather, silk, etc-  to create a unique piece of artwork while allowing your photography take on a sculptural aspect.

Working with Metro Imaging Sarah harnessed the technology to create a one-off design for her project ‘Danin’, which explores the practise of Wicca and the concept of Paganism.

Printing on Crêpe De Chine (a light and fine, silk-like dress fabric), Sarah chose a landscape image from photographic artist Steve Macleod and applied a gradual fade to the artwork throughout the material. This process created the ideal effect for her concept, bringing the design to life and completing her creation.

“I was delighted with how the printed fabric turned out, when I took the material out of the packaging it was exactly how I envisioned it to be and I was very impressed with the quality of the print on the Crêpe De Chine. Going forward in my practice, I hope to incorporate more digital printing techniques throughout my collections” said Sarah on seeing the final printed piece.

For more of Sarah’s work see here online portfolio here and for more info on our direct to media printing see below.

With our Direct To Media (DTM) service we can print your image directly to a flat substrate of your choice, up to four inches thick and 8 x 10 ft as one full piece. Direct to media can be highly durable compared to traditional prints mounted to a substrate, with the added bonus of being water resistant. This service can take from 10-15 working days to complete once tests have been signed-off.

Contact us today or better yet call into our London lab and experiment with our DTM!

DESIGN Sarah O’Neill

Technicians from Metro’s London lab recently spent time in Beijing producing over three hundred Giclée prints for the first major survey exhibition of British photography to take place in China, ‘Work, Rest and Play: British Photography from the 1960s to Today’.

Metro was delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with The Photographers’ Gallery on this unique project.  As there are no printers to produce C-Type prints in Beijing, Metro’s 35 years of experience in traditional photographic and colour inkjet printing made us an obvious choice for this remarkable contract.

The decision to undertake the printing of all 340 images in China was not undertaken lightly by The Photographers’ Gallery. It was the first time in the Gallery’s history that works were printed entirely in the host country rather than under the photographer’s individual supervision here in the UK.  This bold decision was only made possible by our offer to supervise the entire printing process on behalf of the Gallery and the 35 photographers with the Chinese producers The Pin Projects in Beijing.

Brett Rogers OBE, Director of The Photographer’s Gallery commented, “The resulting prints have fulfilled our expectations and we are confident they will please all the artists involved. It is a testament to Steve Macleod and the Metro team’s technical skills that they have managed to ensure the production of this exhibition has met the Gallery’s usual high technical standards.”

The exhibition is presented by The Photographers’ Gallery, London in collaboration with The Pin Projects, Beijing OCT-LOFT, a creative culture park in Shenzhen, with support from the British Council and will be featured as part of the 2015 UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange. This is the first touring exhibition in China solely devoted to British photography and will be the inaugural exhibition in the new C2 Space, opening on May 9th. There are plans for the exhibition to be presented in at least two other venues in China – Shanghai and Wuhan with further venues possibly following in 2016.

‘Work, Rest and Play’ presents a survey of over fifty years of British photography, featuring prints of all size, from the traditional 5”x7” to our supersized prints by thirty-seven acclaimed photographers and artists – work by some of the most significant photographers and artists of the time, reflecting photography’s growing cultural position, both within the UK and on the international stage.  Images from a range of genres and disciplines, including photojournalism, portraiture, fashion and fine art are arranged chronologically as the exhibition explores British society through changing national characteristics, attitudes and activities over the last five decades.

Artists included in the exhibition include Cecil Beaton, Julian Germain, Linda McCartney, Spencer Murphy, David Spero, Clare Strand, Jon Tonks and Tim Walker.

OCT-LOFT, Kaiping Street, Shenzhen, China
9th May – 12th July 2015
The exhibition will continue to tour to Beijing and Shanghai at dates to be announced

For more information about the exhibition
For more information about the 2015 UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange

Images ©

1- 3 Metro Imaging producing Giclee prints on site.