you could consider me the lion tamer of this little circus.
The art collection of the Maltwood is under my charge. Their
cages and pens are the shelves and racks of the backroom and
study gallery. It is my responsibility to prepare and maintain
these beasts. When they are required to be paraded in front
of the public, it is I who must entice them in to position
and make sure they perform properly. I am very proud of my
work and my title of Preparator.
are fussy creatures. They must be housed properly or they
will waste away. Art must be cleaned and cared for so that
it doesn't offend the public eye with unkempt appearances.
Matting must trim the edges of prints. Their coats must be
rid of dust and insects. The older, tired works especially
must be protected from the curious fingers of little children.
When bringing the art to the exhibition, you must be mindful
not to startle or frighten the works. They must be delicately
positioned in a way that compliments each piece while offending
none. I must take care of each piece individually or it may
list and droop or spring from its place on the wall. All this
business keeps me running in circles, flitting between art
and exhibition, trying to balance my attention between my
because of my mastery of the art whip that I was sent with
a few other members of the Maltwood troupe up to Port Alberni.
I was placed in charge of taking a small but feisty collection
housed at the Rollin Art Centre and bringing it up to snuff.
Most of the works were not quite ready to be shown in the
"Visions of the West Coast: Robert Aller and his Community"
exhibit, coming to the Maltwood in 2005. We cut 42 new matts
for 42 works.
of the entire collection was reviewed and each piece was repackaged
for secure storage. Working with a foreign stable in a strange
land was refreshing and enlightening. The adventure drew into
question many of my practices and habits that were not adapted
to a new environment. All in all chalk it down to another
thrilling chapter of experience earned under the mantle of
Preparator at the Maltwood.