William Orpen, Portrait of Anna Pavlova, 1920, oil on canvas, Mildura Arts Centre Collection. Senator R.D Elliott Bequest, presented to the City of Mildura, by Mrs Hilda Elliott, 1956Paintings conservator infilling oil painting

Artlab’s highly experienced paintings and frames conservators are skilled in treating paintings in the full range of mediums from traditional European oil paintings to modern and contemporary acrylic paintings, on a variety of supports including canvas, rigid boards, metal and glass.

We treat miniatures, easel paintings, composite contemporary arts, painted sculptures, murals, gilding and decorative paint in buildings. Paintings conservation treatments include surface cleaning and varnish removal, tear repair, re-stretching canvases, stabilisation of flaking and fragile paint layers, infilling and inpainting areas of loss, conservation reframing and museum glazing. We design and construct bespoke hanging systems, undertake exhibition and loan preparation, perform condition checking and reporting, and advise on the care and proper display of paintings.

Our frames conservators sensitively treat and repair frames, ensuring they are structurally sound. We also undertake surface cleaning, remove old repairs, remove overpaint and discoloured coatings, stabilise decorative elements, rebuild damaged and lost ornamentation, refinish or regild, and tone and blend in order to maintain original patina.

Materials and mediums vary between works of art and understanding these components enables conservators to make sound judgements during conservation treatments. Analysis of paintings using microscopy, infrared/ultraviolet light photography, X-ray, paint sampling and cross-section analysis ensures appropriate identification of the painted surface. Material identification using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence analytical techniques all aid in the understanding of how an artist created their work and intended their work to appear.

Our paintings and frames conservators have studied and trained locally and internationally, bringing back current methodologies and techniques from around the globe, to help safeguard a variety of artworks. From easel paintings to wall murals, outdoor monument gilding and the preservation of historic interiors in situ, the painting and frames team provide expert professional advice to local, interstate and international clients.