John Coburn Tapestries

PROJECT DATE : 2019
project
John Coburn Tapestries
client
Corporate Collection
services
Textiles Conservation

Overview

John Coburn (1925-2006) was one of Australia’s most highly regarded abstract artists. His distinctive style is characterised by two-dimensional blocks of bright, bold colour, and is often described as emitting a sense of joy and warmth.

Primarily working as a painter, tapestry designer and printmaker, Coburn was also a respected teacher and became head of the National Art School in 1972. His work was widely celebrated during his lifetime and continues to hold popular appeal.

ICS was commissioned to conserve two of John Coburn’s large tapestries – Terra Australis and Earth Song – ready for installation on the walls of an office foyer in Sydney’s CBD.

Condition

Both tapestries had previously been on display in a different location, leading to light fading and particulate matter across their surfaces (especially Earth Song, which had even accumulated leaves in some areas!). Since being last displayed they had been rolled and stored for some time.

Treatment

Each piece was surface cleaned and brush vacuumed, front and back, to remove all particulates from the surface. A new Velcro hanging system and calico lining fabric were then attached, and new battens fabricated.

The hanging system was designed to go along the top and side edges of each piece in order to properly stretch and present them for display.

Due to the size of the tapestries and the prominence of their new location, the installation was undertaken outside normal business hours and required the construction of scaffolding and three conservators in order to complete.

project
John Coburn Tapestries
client
Corporate Collection
services
Textiles Conservation
Before Treatment
After Treatment

More Projects Like This One

Japanese Wartime Silk Flag

Overview On 23rd September 1945 the Japanese 20th Division surrendered a Japanese flag to the Australian army in Papua New Guinea. A letter accompanying the flag acknowledged the kind treatment that the Australian army had shown to the Japanese soldiers. The letter is dated 10 days after the official Japanese surrender at Cape Wom on 13 September 1945, possibly reflecting the many dispersed Japanese battalions throughout PNG. Nearly 70,000 Japanese servicemen and 20,000 civilians...

Sydney Opera House Coburn Curtains

Overview A spectacular component of the opening of the Sydney Opera House in October 1973 was the specially commissioned opera theatre and drama theatre curtains. Titled respectively The Curtain of the Sun and The Curtain of the Moon these giant...

Rouse Hill Estate Side Chair

Birdwood Flag