Sunday, 23 October 2011

Conservation issues

The Return, the exhibition at The House of the Nobleman finishes today. It will be interesting to know what interest there has been in Dave Pearson's work as a result. Being in London none of us have been able to travel down to see it, but we're told by a few friends and acquaintances who have made the journey, that the exhibition looks 'stunning'. 

Last weekend, the three members of the Trust met with Pauline Birtwell, an expert on preserving works on paper, who works for Lancashire Conservation Studios in Preston. Pauline lives locally and kindly gave up part of her weekend to advise us as to the storage and conservation issues we face - especially of the vulnerable works on paper. 

The issues are potentially daunting, but Pauline advised us to take it 'bit by bit'. Our first steps will be to buy acid free tissue paper to separate out the individual works on paper, and to buy special plastic sheeting to separate the stacked up piles of paintings. We'll need to start handling the paper works wearing gloves, and vulnerable pieces will need to be removed from the drawers and placed in their own separate boxes to await treatment. 

The main issue for us, apart from the time we'll need to do this, is where do we find the additional storage room that this will ultimately require? At present the plan-chests we have may well have 100 sheets in each drawer, and the weight of these will itself contribute to the deterioration of the work. Pauline suggested looking into a Heritage Lottery Grant in order to pay both for the resources, but also for trained conservers, to undertake this work. 

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