Tapa-Cloth from Parliament
Parliamentary Collections asked me to view and advise for display on one of their objects, a Tapa-Cloth. The work had been tightly rolled for storage leaving it badly curled.
Once in the studio the work was fully documented and photographed involving examination of the work and noting any anomalies, cracks in the varnish and staining already present.
The work is considered as new and in good condition and therefore only required surface cleaned with a soft brush and no mechanical surface cleaning was thought necessary. Before beginning any treatment I spot tested pigments and varnish thoroughly to check moisture tolerances.
It was allowed to roll back into what was comfortable for the work and a humidity chamber was constructed to suit. Humidity was slowly increased over an extended period to relax the work, before being pressed between Remay (spun polyester), blotters and boards.
The work was now flat after weeks of pressing which has given it a “new memory” and it is ready for mounted onto a support board that will allow hanging.
The display area posed numerous problems as we could not attach directly to the wall in any way or use magnets, so an alternative hanging system needed to be designed so that the work could hang in front of the wall.
Two vertical wires were secured from floor to ceiling to hold the work off the wall.
An archival mounting board was cut slightly smaller than the Tapa-Cloth and attached to the back of the work with water cut Japanese tissue hinges and wheat starch paste as the adhesive. Invisible loops of cotton tape were threaded top and bottom of board to secure it to the wire that suspended the work.
Phillipa Durkin, paper conservator