During the last century, Nick Parkin met a young Japanese student studying English in the UK. Although, he had no interest in the subject matter, through their relationship she encouraged him to explore and practice kinbaku, a form of Japanese bondage. He admits he found the whole process uncomfortable, restraining a person for erotic somatosensory stimulation, even though it was consensual. Being a novice, she encouraged him to accompany her to London's Soho district to learn more about Kinbaku by exploring the various outlets selling bondage paraphernalia. And on a return trip from Japan she brought him back a present - a Japanese bondage magazine that formed the basis of this artwork. Their relationship lasted about six months and ended when she returned to Japan.
Sex and Rope was produced by the artist Nick Parkin in 1997. To create his digital art collage he used an ALPS MD2010 MicroDry printer, Adobe Photoshop, Dell Computer, Microsoft Windows 95 operating system and images scanned from a Japanese bondage magazine published in the last century. The Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana characters were hand-drawn with Tipp-Ex correction fluid, embedded on Mellotex paper.
Tipp-Ex correction fluid is a German invention. The company was founded in 1959. Today, it's one of the most recognised German brands in the world. Suffering from chronic dyslexia, the artist found the product indispensable. He decided to use Tipp-Ex to create the Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana characters depicted in his Sex and Rope collage.The idea was to create something beautiful with Tipp-Ex. The characters were inscribed upon the artwork by his Japanese wife, who was born in Higashiomi, a small city near Kyoto.
In November 1948 Katsutaro Kataoka started the Kataoka Electric Company in Japan. In 1964 (the year the artist was born) he changed the company name to ALPS Electric Corporation. The artist preferred using ALPS MicroDry technology because it was far superior compared to most inkjet printers at the time - producing clear, waterproof, fade-resistant images. However, because ALPS printers were slower than most inkjet printers, ALPS failed to achieve massive worldwide sales. In March 2007, ALPS withdrew support for its MicroDry technology. Even back in 1997 the ALPS consumables were difficult to source - the artist imported his from Ireland.
Mellotex Paper was used to create Sex And Rope. Mellotex is manufactured by Tuliss Russell - A company producing premium paper for over 200 years. Nick was first introduced to the product by a printer trading in Great Portland Street, London. He instantly fell in love with the paper's crispness and beautiful smooth surface.
Unlike most digital artists who preferred to work with Apple Mac computers, Nick created Sex and Rope using a Dell Personal computer. The Dell Computer Corporation was started by Michael Dell in 1984. In 2012 Forbes listed him as the 41st richest person in the world.
Adobe Photoshop was used to create Sex and Rope. Adobe was founded in December 1982. Photoshop is an image editing software program created by Thomas and John Knoll. Adobe purchased the license to distribute the software in September 1988. Photoshop 1.0 was released in 1990.
The artwork was framed by a professional framer at the London Picture Centre.
Nick, created Sex and Rope using the Windows 95 Operating System. Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft in 1975. Microsoft's first operating system, Windows 1.0 went on sale in 1995.
Sex and Rope started life in Corfield Street close to London's Brick Lane. Other notable artists living in the area then were Gilbert & George and Tracey Emin. Nick Parkin still lives in Tower Hamlets, A multicultural borough popular with artists and creative people. The area contains several works by world renowned street artist, Banksy. And even the Landlady, Pauline Forster, who runs his favourite local pub the George Tavern, has exhibited at London's Tate Modern.