Going Behind the Scenes with Artlab Australia

Today I got experience a little of what happens “behind the scenes” in Australia’s premier conservation company “Artlab Australia” … yay! And to say it was way cool would be such an understatement.

Now first up let me tell you that Artlab Australia is one of those places that works behind the scenes. You see their work, but rarely see them. They are conservators, and they are who the galleries, museums, libraries, other cultural institutions as well as private individuals and call regarding repairs to treasures that they have. And not just Australia, but from around the world.  So everything from paper documents, to photographs, to paintings, to books, to tapestries, to ceramics, even statues along with everything in between, is all part of the regular conservation work that Artlab does.

Artlab Australia kindly opened their doors to the public as part of Open House Adelaide, which is also on as part of About Time: South Australia’s History Festival (our history month) which runs all of May. I saw it was on, booked, and went along with MyrLonetester.

So after leaving our bags and cameras in a locked up room as they’re not allowed to be taken on the tour, we were introduced to Artlab Australia’s Director, Andrew Durham. He led the tour  around this fascinating place.  Over 3 or 4 floors (I lost track), we were shown the five conservation sections: the large projects, objects, paper and books, and paintings, and textiles. The tour was designed to “give you the opportunity to view a conservator’s world and see where historical items and wonderful artworks are conserved and maintained” and it sure did that, and hour+ tour just flew by.

It was fascinating to see not only that a place existed like this in my own city, but to find out that it really is world renowned for the conservators skills is awesome. Now I could rave on some more, but I found a YouTube video which shows (and tells) you far more than I can in words.

Now I would like to thank Artlab Australia for opening their doors, and to the amazing work that the conservators do, it’s a BIG, BIG double thumbs up from me.

Now if you have an item that you’d like looked at, and you are in South Australia (or can visit), you’ll be interested to know about their consultation days. These are days that they are open (by appointment) to the public and you can have a free consult with the conservators regarding your precious item. They can advise you on the care and condition of the treasure, and can assess if you would like work carried out.

Artlab Australia

Artlab Australia

Artlab also offers tours to community groups for free. Contact them for details. [Trust me if you get the chance, it’s worth it.]

Address: 70 Kintore Avenue, Adelaide, SA 5000
Phone: (08) 8207 7520
Email: artlab@dpc.sa.gov.au
Website: www.artlabaustralia.com.au

3 Responses to “Going Behind the Scenes with Artlab Australia”

  1. Great post … thanks for the info. Am thinking I should take my GGGrandmother’s hand knitted (in cotton) bedspread for advice as to it’s preservation.

    • Alona says:

      Now that’d be the perfect place to take it and get advice. You’d just need to make an appointment for one of their Consultation Days, and they’ll be able to help you.

  2. WOW!!! Thanks Alona 🙂

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