The de-installation of exhibitions often goes unnoticed as audiences focus on the installation and opening of displays. The process is as time-consuming as the installation and is just as important.
The popular Contemporary Art Tasmania touring exhibition ‘Made in China Australia’ is being de-installed today at the Queen Victoria Art Gallery at Royal Park. It is an example of the efficient team work from the Exhibitions and Conservation Department.
Before a travelling exhibition can be packed, the condition of artworks and objects are vigilantly checked by Conservators to make sure that no damage has occurred during the time of display. Following this, Gallery Officers carefully package items in crates for collection and transport. Other members of the team often assist in tasks such as removing graphics from the gallery walls.
After an exhibition is de-installed the gallery is prepared for the next exciting display. Once again, an exhibition goes up and then comes down.
Amy Bartlett, Senior Conservator
This week is National Volunteer Week which is the perfect opportunity to thank the Conservation Volunteers for their ongoing commitment to the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery. Each has an interest in collections and they use their specialist skills to assist QVMAG Conservators to preserve Tasmania’s cultural heritage.
Olive Bull has been with the team the longest and has worked on numerous significant projects over the past nine years. She has a range of sophisticated skills including calligraphy, bookbinding and box making. Examples of Olive’s past projects include making custom made folders and boxes to house rare books from the Library collection and constructing complex boxes to house objects and artworks from the History and Fine Art collections. Olive has also assisted with basic conservation treatments such as cleaning items that are currently on display in the Guan Di Temple at Royal Park.
Jim Carroll plays an important role in the conservation of the QVMAG’s ship model collection. He is interested in and well equipped to carry out the time-consuming tasks of cleaning, repairing and making replacement fittings for the models. His work ensures that the ship models are in a good condition for public display and that the collection is cared for.
Margaret Barlow originally volunteered in the QVMAG Education section before coming to work with Conservation. She has excellent sewing skills which she currently uses to make custom made black out curtains for artworks on paper in order to reduce their exposure to light damage. Other examples of Margaret’s past projects include making padded coat hangers for uniforms in the History collection and rehousing paper documents from the Natural Sciences collection.
Susan Scott has recently left the Conservation department and her work was much appreciated. Susan worked with a Conservator to document the condition and identify materials used to construct a 1800s rocking horse from the History collection which will be conserved by staff in the future. She also worked on a filing project to improve systems and often assisted other Conservation Volunteers when necessary.
All of the work carried out contributes to the long term preservation of iconic and irreplaceable collection items. We also have a lot of fun together and Conservation Volunteers are valued members of the team. Thank you Olive, Jim, Margaret and Susan!
Amy Bartlett, Senior Conservator