Abracadabra: the magic in conservation
Children’s Gallery 28 July – 26 November 2006
Manolo Blahnik 'Giacinto, pair of woman's shoes' Autumn-Winter 1992-93, gift of Lons and Ron Ramsey
Conservators at the National Gallery of Australia usually practise their magic on works of art behind the scenes. Some of their secrets will be revealed through Abracadabra: the magic in conservation which opens in the Children’s Gallery on Friday 28 July.
The exhibition demystifies the manufacture and conservation of art and is designed around works from the collection with strong appeal for children. Techniques used by conservators to reveal hidden information are presented using games, puzzles and interactive technology to allow children to make their own discoveries about the art on display.
Techniques featured in the exhibition include x-radiography, used in conservation to reveal the internal components of works of art, and infrared reflectography which captures evidence of pencil or charcoal beneath layers of paint and varnish. Visitors will see the dramatic effects of ultraviolet light on certain materials and magnified detail provides fascinating images of material structure.
Abracadabra provides a unique experience for children and their families to look at works of art and cast their eyes beyond the surface. The exhibition coincides with National Science Week in August and is supported by a program of activities including specialised workshops for children during the October school holidays.
The Children's Gallery is dedicated to exhibitions drawn from the national collection, aimed at maximising the enjoyment and enrichment of a visiting child's experience. These exhibitions encourage and challenge children to be engaged and stimulated by art and are supported by a range of interactive activities.
Abracadabra: the magic in conservation is curated by National Gallery conservators Jaishree Srinivasan, Fiona Kemp, Stefanie Woodruff and Sheridan Roberts.