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Caring For Your Artwork

You have the art collection to die for but how should you care for your much loved art works? womanwithdrive asked me to shed some light on this topic. So, here are the most common questions I am asked at dinner parties and in supermarkets.


1. How should I clean my art?

When it comes to conservation or restoration, always seek specialist professional advice as works need to be cared for just like the precious babies they are.

An old fashioned feather duster is fine with a very light touch on metal sculptures and this works on husbands too!

2. How high should I hang on a wall?

Hang it where you can see it – where you can look at it with ease and comfort in your home, where you can love it and enjoy it.

If you hang too high you strain and if you hang too low it will make your neck crick so hang it where you can stand and look dead centre – eye level, right at the work.

As long as it works for you then it is right for your home!


3. Should I hang on every wall at home?

Once again it’s personal taste. I personally love the unexpected in a mod contemporary home, a ‘salon hang’ with lots of works of different sizes adds warmth and mixes up the expected.

A feature wall with one large piece often means I wont hang on the other sides of the room or the room will become smaller. A wallpapered or bold coloured feature wall is often best left alone but can also work with the right work on top. For example, a black and white photograph on a coloured wall looks amazing!


4. What if the art I buy doesn’t match my furniture?

Art is not decoration. Art is an integral extension of our lives. If you love it then it will work in your home. Mixing modern art in traditional and historic homes and visa versa looks amazing. That is what adds interest and takes you to another place.


5. What do you do when you own too much art and run out of wall space?

Consider an easel for displaying your extra art works. It means you don’t have to climb ladders or drill holes and you can trial works around your house.
Other options are to start collecting video art for your television when it is not being used. Also projecting video art on to your pool or that wall that you look onto at night is a really great surprise for visitors.


6. How do I look after works on paper or a painting so they don’t deteriorate, crinkle or age?

A stable environment is the answer. Wide fluctuations (interestingly it’s the same with wine) will cause deterioration – too hot, too sunny and too humid. Never place an oil painting or a work on paper in direct sunlight and never hang over the fireplace or a heater as smoke from the fire discolour the painting. A badly aired room, cooking fumes, smoke and cigarette smoke will all cause cracking. Bathrooms are also a big no no for art.


Andy Dinan is a self-confessed Art Addict, leading Melbourne gallerist and founder of MARS Gallery in Port Melbourne.


Credit: Originally published in Australian Art Collector, photo by Janelle Low

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