It's not that I don't respect my paintings, it's just that I think a salon hang adds a bit of panache to a room. The higgledy-piggledy approach seems to me to allow you to infuse the configuration with more of your own personality. It might seem disrespectful in a formal, public exhibition but at home we're all friends aren't we?
Last week saw me driving down to Annandale to a conservator's studio near Parramatta Road. The company, Preservation Australia, is known for doing this kind of work. My framer recommended them, and that's enough of a recommendation for me. Tegan met me at the door - which is located down the side of a big brick building - and led me upstairs to a bright and airy studio space where two other people were at work. It turns out that two of the glass images are Ambrotypes and one is a Daguerrotype. One of the Ambrotypes is of a woman in a check dress and is very badly damaged. The other Ambrotype and the Daguerrotype are still in reasonable condition. The badly damaged one my mother had a print taken from a few years ago, so I know what it is supposed to look like.
The three images came to light in a badly damaged box which started to fall apart as soon as I picked it up while unpacking some of the things brought down from mum's apartment on the Coast. Their mounts - which were of wood or cardboard, and cloth - were so badly water damaged they were not worth saving. The three images had somehow been packed away untreated after the flood in the summer of 2010-11 when the carpark of mum's unit was flooded with a mixture of stormwater and sewage. For some reason noone thought it was worthwhile doing something about the images, but it is difficult to say whether any action taken at that stage would have helped. It's enough to say that since the images were captured sometime in the late 19th Century they have mostly been neglected. I plan to have them mounted for display in sturdy frames after having them cleaned.