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Restoring ‘Fragments’ by Artist Steve Sabella

We recently worked with Berlin-based Palestinian artist Steve Sabella. In 2014 Sabella had a solo show ‘Fragments’ at the Berloni Gallery in London. For one of the projects he exhibited, ‘38 Days of Re-Collection’ Sabella lived for 38 days in a Palestinian home occupied by Israelis since 1948. Feeling unsettled, he tried to make sense of the space by photographing it thoroughly, then collected fragments of paint that were peeling off the walls of the home he was born in, and other houses in the Old City of Jerusalem. He painted light sensitive B&W photo emulsion on the fragments, and printed the images he had taken on them.

Many of the fine curls of these laminated paint fragments were damaged in transit while the exhibition was touring. Orbis were responsible for conserving these pieces, and felt it was best to mount them from the back so they had more structural integrity in order to survive any future movement. After un-framing them all we then developed a reversible mount system that was applied to the entire reverse-side. In areas of particular vulnerability, glass fibre was used to give it additional structural support. This additional layer of consolidant matting would not only prevent vulnerable areas from breaking further but eliminate any stresses that could produce further cracking in the thin paint layers.

To learn more about Steve Sabella's work see here.

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