Growing Panes

About Growing Panes

Taking inspiration from Super Mario Clouds, and from Zac Gorman’s image of Cloud from Final Fantasy 7 in the future, I revisited the 16-bit era for Growing Panes.

Displayed in all of it’s original pixely brilliance, Growing Panes questions the idea of legacy in computer games, and displays what the universe looks like without the action of the player.

High-quality gallery here:

How Growing Panes was made

Backgrounds from 16-bit computer games were extracted by loading ROMs into an emulator (ZNES) and disabling all foreground and sprite layers until only the background was displayed on screen.

These background were captured multiple times and stitched together (Adobe Photoshop) to create a large, coherent backdrop.

Once a low-resolution background was completed (the SNES and Megadrive’s resolutions were a meagre 256×224) the images were upscaled using nearest-neighbour sampling to ensure that the “pixelated” feel was retained.

The images were upscaled in the same ratio as the game’s output in order to maximise image integrity.

The final images were then printed on 2.5m x 1.6m boarding for exhibition.

Additional comments on Growing Panes

I think all of us – at heart – have a nostalgia for what we enjoyed as children, especially for the activities that defined life-long love affairs.

As objectively as I can be, I feel that there was something about this 16-bit era that was unlike anything before or after. The world’s that computer graphics had previously hinted at were finally able to be realised in bright, vibrant colours, at a resolution that allowed young minds to easily fill-in the gaps.

The increase in computing power meant that the backgrounds took on lives of their own, realising worlds that our player-controlled characters merely inhabited: E. Honda’s bathhouse; Chun Li’s Chinese merchants; the dilapidated, mean streets of rage.

As this generation moves further into the past, these worlds also disappear. All those moments lost in time, like dust on a game cartridge.





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Limited availability

These works were available for a single run of 24 images. Each image measures 2.5m x 1.5m and is printed on 1cm board. Delivery in 1 – 3 weeks.

  • Streets (£920 – 13 left)
  • Bathhouse (£920 – 15 left)
  • Jungle (£920 – 18 left)

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