O’Sullivan Conservation was engaged to treat Jim Mitchell’s sculpture Domestic Affection and install it in an upper-floor lift lobby of a Sydney office building, outside of business hours.
An initial inspection conducted at the facility where the sculpture was being stored, along with previous condition reports provided by the client, formed the basis for the treatment proposal. The original scope included localised repairs to the sculpture’s clear topcoat through flaking removal, re-spraying, and reintegration through abrasion. Upon further examination and testing of the topcoat once the sculpture arrived at OSC’s workshop, the entire topcoat was determined to be unstable and the treatment proposal was therefore adjusted to include its complete removal and recoating.
The sculpture was comprehensively photographed, and condition assessed. Prior to treatment the sculpture was weighed, and the details forwarded to the client to confirm the proposed installation location was sufficiently load rated for the sculpture. The bolts securing the sculpture to the plinth were removed to allow both components to be treated individually. The delaminating clear topcoat was mechanically removed from the steel sculpture and it was recoated using colour-matched paint. The brushed stainless plinth was cleaned with water, non-abrasive scourers, and scalpel blades, and a mild chemical solution was employed to reduce tea staining. The plinth was then lightly hand polished with a mild abrasive compound.
Domestic Affection was transported to Sydney CBD as two separate pieces, where the sculpture and plinth were reassembled and installed in the designated lift lobby by staff who had undertaken building and client inductions. Future cleaning and care recommendations were provided as part of the treatment report.