Artist Wallpapers - Michael Reid

The practice of unique artist wallpapers has as its panoramic roots, the voyages of exploration and travel one finds in the 18th century. Captain James Cook first sailed from England to the South Seas in 1769. He made three expeditions before his death in 1779, and his adventures captured the imaginations of many Europeans at a time when there was considerable interest in the Rousseauian “exotic”.

In 1806 Joseph Dufour et Cie, in collaboration with the designer Jean-Gabriel Charvet, produced a twenty-panel set of scenic wallpaper entitled Sauvages de la Mer du Pacifique (Savages of the Pacific). picturing the travels of Cook. The wallpaper was printed in colour from multiple woodblocks. The panel’s show many historical events loosely based on the reports of Cook and La Pérouse and drawings made by members of their crews.

The technology of today allows talented contemporary artists, drawing on this 18th century tradition, to explore large scale images & room panoramas hung with commissioned wallpaper. Wallpaper as well as fabric panelling cocoons a space and has wonderful acoustic qualities. Wallpaper can be playful or powerful, subtle and flexible.

Working with a master printer – on a new Epson S80600; Epson’s latest high-end eco solvent printer – the artist & printer can work on a wide variety of medias, and on wall coverings where the paper size can go up to 550GSM. With this specific purpose-ready-machine, the artist, gallery, printer and collector align our interests to obtaining an original, significant artwork, purpose fit for the built environment. If you have the imagination, collaborating with a significant contemporary artist to execute and produce an important work of original wall art may be of great interest. With artist wallpapers, you can after all, walk through and around your art.

To discuss commissioning an artists wallpaper, please contact

02 8353 3500


Two images from Sauvages de la Mer du Pacifique, 1806

Three images from the opening night of the National Gallery of Victoria’s survey exhibition, Petrina Hicks: Bleached Gothic, October 2019, NGV Federation Square, Melbourne