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.
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.
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.
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 16 metre tapestries were designed by John Coburn (1925-2006) and woven at the Pinton Freres workshops outside Paris. It was...
Overview This high Victorian style upholstered dining chair is from the collection of the Rouse Hill Estate. The NSW homestead, in the Australian Georgian style, was developed between 1813 and 1819 with further developments in c. 1863. Receipts from cabinet maker...