Back in October 2013 we were contacted by the National Trust to help with a project they were working on for the relocation of large canvasses that were being moved from their permanent home at the National Trust’s Sandham Memorial Chapel to an exhibition at Somerset House in London.
The conservation team wanted to use our PP250 laminate for both protection & practicality. The paintings were going to be exposed to differing environments at various locations and they wanted to use the PP250 laminate as a backing which would prevent shrinking or swelling. The front of the paintings has a paint layer which acts as a buffer but the reverse of the canvas does not, so to balance the front and the back, the customer decided to add the PP250 laminate backing. The laminate also acts as physical protection against damage. From a practical point the customer wanted something lightweight, stable and easy to cut. The Protective Packaging Limited PP250 laminate had all these characteristics and was supplied in flat sheets cut to size.
The paintings in question were by the artist Stanley Spencer who painted his poignant memories of war, the paintings are on large scale canvas panels which are being exhibited until the end of this month. Spencer painted scenes of his own wartime experiences, as a hospital orderly in Bristol and as a soldier, also on the Salonika front. His recollections, painted entirely from memory, focus on domestic rather than combative and evoke everyday experience – washing lockers, inspecting kit, sorting laundry, scrubbing floors and taking tea – in which he found spiritual resonance and sustenance.
The paintings, which took six years to create and were completed in 1932, are considered to be the artists finest achievement.
At the end of the exhibition the paintings will return to their home at the Sandham Chapel, the customer has confirmed that they will be leaving the PP250 backings in place. It is nice to know that Protective Packaging have had a small part in such an exciting and worthwhile project.