Artworks by Hazel Dooney are technically well constructed using high quality materials. They are made to last. When well cared for, even the artist's earliest works are in excellent condition.
That said, everything ages. Art is made to be looked at. The best we can do is balance enjoying art with taking care of artworks.
The safest place for an artwork is hung on a wall, away from areas of high humidity or dramatic temperature change. It's best to keep artworks out of direct sunlight. However this is not always possible if we want to enjoy the experience of living with art – not every home is built like an art gallery. If an artwork is hung in direct sunlight, accept that colours may fade over time and keep an eye on how the work is aging in this position. The artist uses materials with maximum lightfast rating however the sun (especially the sun in Australia) is more powerful than paint.
Please note that the artist cannot and will not be legally held reponsible for artworks after they leave her studio and these suggestions are a guide only.
Works on paper
DO have your work on paper mounted by a professional framer using conservation materials and techniques, preferably Japanese hinging. It will ensure the artwork itself is not damaged by the use of inappropriate materials.
DO choose museum grade mat board. Over the years, lesser quality mat board may mark or stain the paper of the artwork.
DO request UV reflective conservation glass.
If you can't have a work well framed immediately, DO keep it flat in the original packing (as received from the artist) until it can be properly framed.
One of the pleasures of receiving an unframed work on paper is holding it to a light source and seeing the artist's brushstrokes – which will be barely visible once the artwork is framed. If you would like this experience, please DO it inside, away from a breeze and hold the paper gently by the edges (preferably while wearing cotton gloves).
These works are more sensitive to light and should never be hung in direct sunlight. This is especially important for Polaroids from the Dooney Lives series. They are delicate. These works have the potential to age well, however they DO need a little extra care.
DO have Polaroids framed to the guidelines for works on paper, above.
DO request UV reflective conservation glass
DON’T hang the work in direct sunlight, even if it has been framed using UV reflective conservation glass.
DO remember that the beauty of a Polaroid photograph is that it's a captured moment in time. Once it's gone, it's gone. That's why it's so precious – and worth a little extra effort to protect.
High gloss enamel paintings on custom-made board
DO bear in mind that if damaged these artworks cannot be repaired seamlessly so prevention is the best – and, in the long-term, the least expensive – strategy.
DO hang works up to 1m x 1.5m (3'3" x 4'11") by two points.
DO hang works over this size by four points – two points on each vertical side. Due to their weight, all works from the Dangerous Career Babes series must be hung by four points.
Please note since the beginning of her career, all artworks have left Dooney's studio with D-rings attached to the frame by stainless steel screws and instructions to hang from two or four points.
DON’T hang artworks on board from a central point or have them strung. This works against the grain of the wood, which weakens the material and will eventually cause it to split. If the frame splits due to improper hanging the painting may drop to the floor, causing additional surface damage.
DO have artworks transported by professional art removalists.
DO ensure artworks are wrapped in breathable foam such as Cell-Air or archival tissue, and then wrapped in bubble wrap.
DON’T wrap the works in plastic only. Prolonged contact with plastic will mark the surface of high gloss enamel paint, perhaps irreparably.
DON’T bump or drop artworks as enamel paint is brittle and will chip easily.
DON’T move a large painting by sliding it. The sides of these works are also painted in high gloss enamel. Sliding artworks (including on carpet) may scrape the paint.
If you'd like to have these works framed to protect the sides, DO request a floating frame that will not touch them.
DO use cotton gloves when handling paintings to avoid leaving fingerprints on the surface.
DO leave artworks unwrapped while in storage.
DON’T store artworks in complete darkness as it may cause high gloss enamel paint (especially white) to yellow.
High gloss enamel paintings on canvas
DO follow the advice above. Even though works on canvas are lighter, they are designed to be hung by two points and will last better, for longer, if hung this way.
DON’T bump or press the canvas as it may cause the paint to crack.
DON’T remove the canvas from the frame. Unlike some oil and acrylic paints (which can be flexible) high gloss enamel paint is brittle and will crack.
Restoring the shine to your high gloss enamel painting
Over many years, the shiny surface of high gloss enamel paint may become dull. DO engage the services of a professional art conservator to clean the artwork and restore the high shine.
DON’T attempt to clean the artwork yourself or ask another artist to clean the work (unless they are also a qualified art conservator).
What to do if your artwork has been damaged
DO consult a qualified art conservator. If art conservators require technical specifications of materials used in the creation of these artworks, please ask them to email the artist directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
DON’T try to repair it yourself.
DON’T ask another artist to repair it (unless they are also a qualified art conservator).
Above: Photograph of a high gloss enamel painting on custom-made board, created in 2000, in the process of being cleaned by a professional art conservator in 2016.