‘Fairground Ride’ – Susan Williams-Ellis Foundation
This painting was executed on rather fine paper and had received some damage while in storage. The client was keen to have this damage repaired and the painting framed so that it might be enjoyed by visitors to the site and protected while not on display.
Pre-Treatment Condition: The substrate was a fine paper with a high ‘rattle’. The media was pencil, black pastel/ charcoal and watercolour/ gouache. The painting had several heavy fold lines running horizontally across the substrate. There were small pin holes at the top right and bottom left corners, and a slightly larger torn hole towards the top left corner, these were presumably made by the artist when she was creating the work. The top left corner was detached and very heavily creased. There was a tear approximately 3cm in length leading from the bottom right edge into the image, this ended with a small loss. All the edges were creased and tatty with small folds. There was a general planar distortion over the whole object, especially at the head and tail and general light surface dirt covered all surfaces.
Treatment: The painting was firstly surface cleaned at the front and back to remove the build up of unsightly dirt. All the paint colours were spot tested to gauge their fugitivity to water contact. After passing the fugitivity test the painting was very gently humidified with cold water vapour in a humidity chamber, the purpose of this treatment was to relax the paper substrate and loosen the many folds and creases. The relaxed painting was placed between woollen felts and acid free blotters and pressed under boards and weights until dry. The tears were repaired from the back of the painting with archival tissue and a reversible adhesive. The corner loss was supported at the back with archival tissue and the detached corner adhered back into position.
The conserved painting was hinged with Japanese paper T-hinges into a cotton museum board hinged mount. The mounted object was framed with an oak frame (as chosen by the client) with Tru Vue UV filtered glass and a backing of acid free mill board.