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AWDB Spotlight: Interview with Green’s Art Conservation

AWDB talks to conservator Daisy Green, founder of Green’s Art Conservation, about preventive conservation, and its significance in the visual arts industry.

May 2023 

For those who don’t know, can you explain what preventive conservation is, and how it differs from restoration? Can a person practice both and would it be the same type of education?

Conservation and restoration definitely come under the same umbrella, but they are hugely different in their practices. Generally, restoration is the process of returning a piece to its original condition, whereas conservation aims to preserve the piece in its current condition. Conservation and restoration do work very closely together. For example, as a conservator, part of what I consider is how some changes to a piece can give some incredible context to the history of a piece. So, when I work with a restorer to treat a piece of work, we discuss whether it is necessary to disguise or fix some damages. My specific area of conservation is preventive conservation, which considers agents of deterioration and considers methods in the general practice of collection care to reduce the potential for damage as much as possible. When a piece is restored, preventive conservation helps to reduce the likelihood of it having to undergo further restoration. In terms of education, all areas of conservation and restoration have specialities, and a person would need to undergo training in a specific area. There are universities globally that offer degrees. Nowadays, an employable conservator and restorer will have a Master’s degree, or an apprenticeship to give them the same level of skill and knowledge.

How did you enter the conservation industry? Where did your passion for art conservation begin?

I studied Contemporary Arts Practice for my undergraduate degree, but unlike my peers, I never wanted to be an artist. After the degree, I dabbled around with a few gallery and art fair jobs, including ones with STPI Creative Workshop & Gallery, in Singapore, and sculptor Kumari Nahappan. For a couple of years, I worked directly with Kumari, finishing small sculptures and developing new concepts. During my time with her, I helped touch up some of her older paintings and was gradually drawn into the practice of restoration. I found that the practice of looking after an existing artwork deeply fulfilling, and still gave me a creative outlet. I decided to study preventive conservation because it gave me the chance to work across all mediums, instead of just one! This isn’t common in most other areas of conservation and restoration.

Daisy Green working at Kumari Nahappan's Studio.png

Daisy Green during conservation work for Kumari Nahappan, 2020. With permission from the arist, Image courtesy of Green’s Art Conservation.

Read the full article on Art World Database

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