Rampage - Jim Mitchell - Sculpture Restoration


Jim Mitchell’s 1984 sculpture Rampage was examined by O’Sullivan Conservation onsite at a storage facility to determine a scope for required treatment prior to install in an upper-level foyer of a Sydney office building. In addition to conservation treatment, transport, and installation, O’Sullivan Conservation was contracted to construct a purpose-built counterbalanced steel base and associated acrylic cover to stabilise the sculpture to avoid securing the sculpture via floor penetrations.

Initial examination determined that the existing paint system present on the sculpture was in relatively good condition, and therefore a minimal-intervention approach to its conservation was adopted. Rampage was transported to the OSC workshop, where the sculpture was photographed, and condition assessed, and the proposed treatment scope was confirmed. 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 painted steel sculpture was surface cleaned with a non-ionic detergent solution and microfiber cloths, rinsed with water, and buffed before being separated from its brushed steel plinth by removing the securing bolts. The sculpture underwent localised corrosion treatments and the treated areas where then primed and inpainted with colour and gloss-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.

A purpose-built galvanized mild steel base and custom acrylic cover were fabricated, and all four components transported to the Sydney office building’s upper-level foyer for installation. Installation was completed using a gantry and chain block, and assembly was conducted on-site. The reassembled sculpture was given a final buff and future cleaning and care recommendations were provided as part of the treatment report.

Brushed steel plinth before conservation restoration
Rampage - Jim Mitchell - Sculpture failing coating
During treatment - Eoin O'Sullivan buffing sculpture
During treatment - tea staining to sculpture plinth
Rampage Jim Mitchell - Sculpture Buff
Sculpture during install - Lendlease Barangaroo
Rampage - Jim Mitchell - Sculpture - before treatment
Rampage - Jim Mitchell - Sculpture Installation - LendLease Barangaroo

Have a question?

O'Sullivan Conservation we provide expert conservation and preservation services that maintain and sustain cultural heritage. If you have a question about a project, give us a call on 0419 380 065 or alternatively fill out the enquiry form and we will get back to you promptly.

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O’Sullivan Conservation acknowledges that we operate and function on the lands of the Darkinjung people.

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