01 March 2009

repetition, concentration, commitment

Much of our conservation work is, by nature, very repetitive. Removal of grime from the surface of paintings with molecular sponges and cotton swabs. Cleaning of mould affected books. And so I admire the way our conservators are able to concentrate on this relentless repetition with their eye on the end-goal of conserving the object they are working on.

I've been thinking about this repetition as a result of several projects we're working on at present. We've got a team of six paintings conservators working on wall paintings in the Hellenic Community's Cathedral of Saint Constantine and Saint Helene in Northbridge, Perth. You can read more about their work in the project blog we set up to keep the Hellenic Community of WA up to date with the project.

We've also just completed a six week long project in a Sydney library cleaning mould from books in the special collection, where we had a team of up to six working under the supervision of our paper conservator. Brush vacuuming mould from every page of a rare book definitely qualifies as an endeavour requiring concentration and commitment.

The video below shows brush vacuuming of a mould affected ledger at our workshop.

David West
International Conservation Services

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