Friday 20 September 2013

Haruhiko Sameshima, Chris Corson-Scott and Mark Adams

On the occasion of the Kinder's Presence exhibition, Haruhiko Sameshima, Chris Corson-Scott and Mark Adams visited the Gallery. I took this picture overlooking the area of the Albert Barracks (now Albert Park) where the Reverend Dr John Kinder was Chaplain to the military stationed at the barracks. Haru, Chris and Mark have contributed some fine large format photographs to the exhibition that reveal their own affinity for Kinder's photographic practice.

- Ron Brownson, Senior Curator

Friday 6 September 2013

Hello from the Getty Conservation Institute: Jackson Pollock’s Mural

Last week I met Yvonne Szafran, head of paintings conservation at the Getty Museum. She told me a little about the joint Getty Museum and Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) project to treat the iconic Jackson Pollock painting Mural from Iowa State University. The painting was commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim in 1943 and is widely recognised as having a crucial influence on the development of the abstract expressionist movement.

Image credit: Tom Learner and Alan Phenix examining Jackson Pollock's Mural. Photo: © J. Paul Getty Trust. Art: University of Iowa Museum of Art, Gift of Peggy Guggenheim, 1959.6. Reproduced with permission from The University of Iowa.
Mural is absolutely stunning in the flesh with its dynamic layering of colour and the environment it creates due to the huge size (approximately 2438 x 6096mm). The painting is in good condition, but in the past it was varnished, which is at odds with Pollock’s technique, dust had settled on the surface making it dirty, another canvas had been adhered to the back (called ‘lining’), and it had been stretched onto a new stretcher (or supporting frame). The new stretcher is almost square but the painting is not, so unpainted edges are now visible having quite an effect on its appearance.

The GCI are using this opportunity to find out more about Pollock’s painting technique and to provide vital information to inform the treatment process. Several of the scientists have been involved, including Tom Learner and Alan Phenix, who you have heard about in my earlier blogs.

Currently the painting is located in a large table in the paintings conservation studio. It has already undergone several forms of analysis and been cleaned by conservators Laura Rivers and Lauren Bradley. The next step is to see if it can be safely restretched onto a new, sturdier stretcher that is better suited to support the great weight of the painting.

You can find out more information about this project on the Getty blog or see photographs and a video on the Wall Street Journal.

- Sarah Hillary, Principal Conservator

Monday 2 September 2013

Youth Media Internship 2013: It's a wrap!

I was the Senior Gallery Educator who planned the Youth Media Internship, helped select the candidates, prepare AUT mentors and gallery staff, and facilitated daily sessions with the interns, providing them with guidance and encouragement while letting them maintain creative control over their projects. I was there from beginning to end. I can honestly say, it was one of the most exhausting – yet most rewarding – programmes I have ever worked on professionally and personally.

Because of this, the screening event that happened last Saturday – where interns, family, friends, teachers and Gallery staff all came to watch the films for the first time – was particularly meaningful. At the screening event, each group introduced their films and got to celebrate together for the first time since the internship ended. Our Director Rhana Devenport spoke and I talked through the process so teachers and family had more context behind the finished products.

Over the seven-day internship I watched these incredible young people gain confidence, interpersonal skills, decision-making skills and take full creative control of their films. All of them brought their own strengths, which translated clearly onto the screen, whether it be editing, illustration, interview or directorial skills. With what was only 38 hours contact time (and of this only 5 hours of filming and 10 of editing), this year’s interns took the project-based learning experience to another level. Needless to say, I became really invested and attached to these young adults, and would like to say again to them, a huge thank you for the passion and energy they brought to the Gallery.

I hope you all enjoy the films as much as we have. Seeing the Gallery through the voice of these interns has been fantastic.

Group one: The Groovsters

Group two: Hinoliee

Group three: The Pickles

Group four: Gender Group

- Selina Anderson, Senior Gallery Educator