Rob Ryan

‘Our Sub Atomic Love Story’ lasercut for YSP

Posted by on Thursday 2nd July, 2015

Rob’s exhibition ‘Listen to the World‘ at Yorkshire Sculpture Park opens this weekend and Rob has created a limited edition lasercut especially for YSP’s shop!

YSP Laser cut

Rob wanted to create something quite different for YSP and had an idea to introduce colour through print to a lasercut. We have only ever created single colour lasercuts before this.

Rob began by drawing the artwork and writing the words for the piece. Rob decided to develop some of the ideas in ‘Could You? Would You?‘, a piece he created for his show ‘There Is Only Time‘ at Sims Reed Gallery in 2013.

Could You Would You Hugh Kelly lo res

Once Rob was happy with the new artwork Libby scanned Rob’s drawing and filled the drawn lines in on the computer to create a silhouetted artwork.

We work closely with the brilliant Sheila at Lasercraft who then checked the artwork at this stage for any potential weak areas in the artwork that might need adjusting.

Libby then worked with Rob and Tom to identify the areas of the lasercut that Rob wanted coloured. After mocking up an idea of what the coloured lasercut would look like the artwork for the spot colours was seperated into layers. These were printed onto transparency film and put onto silk screen.


We ordered lots and lots of different coloured papers to allow us to sample as many options as possible. As this was such a new way of working we wanted to see as many combinations to see which would work best. Tom then set to work sampling by printing the background colours, it’s hard to imagine at this stage what the final outcome would look like as so much of the paper was going to be cut away.



The samples were then sent to Lasercraft where the artwork was cut out. It was quite clear when we received the cut samples which colours worked best. The bright yellows and oranges were pulled out and the pale and dark blues and purples were left to choose between.



Rob chose an aubergine coloured paper with blue printed details. After a few small tweaks to ensure all areas lined up correctly an edition of 100 was put into production.

Rob created a special presentation folder for the lasercut to sit in which he signed in a bright red pencil labelled especially for YSP!!!



Each lasercut is an edition of 100 and is signed and editioned by Rob, the lasercut is available now on pre-order from Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The lasercut reads: ‘Could You? Would You? Climb inside this tiny atom with me? It’s quite cosy in here and not as small as you might first think!! In fact there’s another whole world inside here as big again as the  universe itself!!! The endless immensity of space used to fill me with an unsatisfied fearful wonder.  What mysterious power kept it all in place? Not I nor even the greatest scientists could fathom it out! But since I’ve moved down here with you to live amongst the protons and neutrons I have begun to feel a fantastic force of energy buzzing all around me and I finally realised that the invisible power that holds the entire universe together is your love.’

Listen to the World‘ is a solo exhibition of Rob’s prints and papercuts at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The exhibition celebrates the last six years of Rob’s career and runs from this Saturday, 4th July – 1st November 2015.

Sarah McPhee
Studio Assistant

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