Assessment, Kangaroo, Ibis and Emu steel sculptures, artist/fabricator unknown, Kaurna Park Wetlands, Burton, South Australia; Public Art, City of Salisbury, South Australia
Artlab provides a full range of services to assist artists, owners and asset managers with the ongoing care of public art.
We support public art collection management by developing inventories and databases, including collating information, consulting with artists, assessing condition and determining repair and maintenance needs. Maintenance schedules, treatment plans and costed options are prepared to assist with asset management program budgeting. Regular maintenance is generally a critical step in maximising both the lifespan of public artworks and the time between remedial treatments, and is the most cost efficient asset management strategy.
Working with artists in the development of public art concepts is often the best way to ensure longevity for public art and reduce future maintenance and repair costs. We can advise on proposed location, site preparation, materials, graffiti protection, security, minimising risks to the public, maintenance and future-proofing.
We have extensive experience in the safe relocation of public art, working with construction and transport companies where required to minimise the risk of damage and meet project deadlines. We can advise on handling, transport and storage, as well as undertaking works and overseeing on site.
The conservation processes we undertake to preserve public art and enable its continued display include condition assessment, investigation of deterioration mechanisms, identification of previous interventions, investigation of colour schemes and coatings, cleaning and repairs - using a variety of different methods from swab cleaning with solvents, poultice work to reduce and remove staining or salts, steam vapour, pressure washing, laser cleaning and graffiti removal. Non-destructive testing is done to identify materials and construction methods, such as locating ferrous pins and internal armatures.
We reinstate or re-fabricate missing/stolen or broken elements using archive, artist and agency research. We regularly work with foundries, fabricators, specialist welders, corrosion and coating experts and paint scientists. Modification of existing mounting systems to improve security
Public art can incorporate light, water, sensors, soundtracks and kinetic parts. Unlike art in a gallery space, public art is susceptible to extremes in weather and environment which accelerate deterioration, as well as being vulnerable to human intervention and intentional vandalism. Our care of public art aims to preserve the integrity of each artwork and enable continued display in the public realm.