Research output: Other contribution


SQUID INK is an environmental awareness printmaking project, which provides a commentary on the global impact of plastics, particularly on seas and coastlines. Faithfull’s ‘printed’ artwork comprises materials sourced from the sea to question the use of acrylics and emulsions in printmaking, particularly traditional screen-printing processes.

Faithfull’s unique approach lies in his use of unorthodox biodegradable materials, and his process of printing directly on the sand and adjacent to architectural features, underpinning the environmental ethos of the project. Rather than employing single-usage emulsions and acrylic media, Faithfull explored alternative materials and experimental amalgamations, including upcycled plastic studio waste, natural SQUID INK (sourced from local Spanish fishmongers) and Manutex (a 100% natural seaweed-based thickener normally used in the textile and food industries). The ephemeral nature of this work left no environmental impact as the rising tide washed it back into the ocean.

First performed at IMPACT 10 International Print Conference, Santander (5 - 8 September 2018), the project stimulated communication with local people and tourists about their historical and cultural relationship with the sea, its current ecological state, the produce harvested from it, as well as the devastating impact of marine pollution. The success of this initial event led to an invitation from EINA University School of Art & Design, Barcelona, to extend similar community engagement event at PRINTed#5 (2019). Due to the limited tidal nature of the Mediterranean, the artworks were printed onto concrete promenade surfaces. Rather than disappearing, the atmospheric sea spray salt crystals reacted with the SQUID INK, creating a completely new ‘printed’ compound. Subsequently, macro photography revealed crystal lattices, trapping sand grains and potential microplastic granules.

The project generated media attention, including from Spanish TV and printed press, such as El Diario. An accompanying paper, authored by Faithfull, was published in the proceedings for IMPACT 10.
Original languageEnglish
TypeMulti component output
PublisherUniversity of Dundee
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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