Updates on the restoration work taking place in the summer of 2022.
To contribute to this project, please contact the Parish Office
Or donate here.
(please select Restoration Project fund)
The conservators are in their last week of in painting and stenciling in the areas of loss! After this they will put on one final varnishing layer, and then the painters will come in and put a new coat of yellow paint around the Saints, and then the scaffolding will come down and everyone will be able to see! They hope to return next summer to recover the sanctuary vault if we get the donations!
All of the Saints faces and haloes have been completely taken uncovered from under the over paint, revealing the original Leduc! Now that this crucial step in the process is finished, the conservators will then varnish Saint Andrew and Saint James the great, and begin in painting the areas of loss. They hope to have them finished completely by Wednesday the 31st!
This week the Conservators made amazing progress by getting the Saints original haloes out from beneath the orange over paint! They have applied varnish to Saint John on Friday in order to protect the original Leduc. By doing so, they are also able to to create a protective layer before starting the in painting process on Monday. During that stage, the conservators will be filling out the gaps where the original Leduc have been lost.
This week the Conservators moved up to the Satins faces, and have begun revealing their crosses and archways above their heads! After just 2 days, Head Conservator Michelle Gallinger has already revealed all of St. James The Great`s cross!
This week, Conservators Michelle and Ruth came to St. Ninian’s after dark to put the paintings under UV light! Ultra violet light helps the conservators to identify over-paint that they have not yet removed. This is a way to double check during the over-paint removal process. This week, two new conservators have joined the project! Tirza Harris and Bronwyn Bond will be restoring St. Andrew together! Conservator Dr. Ruth Del Fresno glued down St. Andrew before the other conservators got here, so that way Bronwyn and Tirza were able to begin over-paint removal immediately! After only two weeks, the two have been able to reveal St. Andrew’s columns and his green background! Tirza Harris is in her final year of Art Conservation at Queens University, and Bronwyn Bond is a Queens conservation graduate, and is currently in her research portion of her PhD in Art History. Both are very exited to be apart of the project!
This week the conservators began cleaning the surface of the paintings. When cleaning the surface of the painting, the conservators are taking off the over paint on the actual figures! This process is different for those sections that have been painted over in yellow, and the actual Saint figures. To remove the over paint from the columns and arches, they use scalpels to scrape off all of the paint. Because the Saint paints are more delicate, however, they clean those with cotton swabs! You can see the difference between the cleaned and uncleaned hand above as the original paintings colours are beginning to surface. On Monday two more conservators will join the team, and begin work on Saint Andrew!
This week the conservators continue over paint removal on Saint John and Saint James the Great (please note the progress on Saint John as shown by the above pictures). This week the conservators will secure Saint Andrew to the wall, so work can begin on his restoration. Just as they did with the other Saints, the conservators must glue the peeling paint around Saint Andrew back onto the wall before unveiling the original artwork. For the completion of this project, we are excited to announce that two other conservators will be joining Michelle and Ruth for the remainder of the summer. They will begin Saint Andrews over paint removal in August.
This week the conservators successfully managed to glue back different sections of the wall plaster around Saint John that they had to remove. Now, with the wall back up, they can begin over paint removal on that section of the painting. The purpose of removing a portion of the wall, gluing it, and subsequentially securing it onto the wall is to ensure that the plaster will not crack in future years. This further preserves the images being restored, and avoids another restoration.
This week the conservators continue the paint removal process. As the restoration moves forward, the restorers have been able to reveal the majority of Saint James the Great’s and Saint John’s columns! Within the column they have been able to reveal the greenery original to Saint John’s and Saint James the Great’s images. While Saint James background is marked by the presence of cacti, Saint John was placed amongst flowers! The original Leduc columns that they have been able to reveal from beneath the paint are very well preserved!
This week, the conservators begin unveiling the original Leduc paintings from beneath the 7 layers of paint that are currently covering the saints. This is done by gently applying acetone-soaked cotton swabs onto the wall. These loosen the over-paint, making it possible for the conservators to scrape off the over-paint with scalpels and reveal the original artwork! This week, lead conservator of the Restoration, Michelle Gallinger, reveals some of St. James' archway as seen above!
This week, the conservators are in the final stages of gluing. The gluing stage is the most important for preserving the original artwork. By gluing the 7 layers of paint back onto the wall, the conservators can now begin removing the over-paint with the original Ozias Leduc safely secured onto the wall! This is done by steaming down the curling paint to make it flat, then gluing it to the wall using small, hand-held irons. Whatever original sections of the Leduc paintings the conservators are not able to save this week will need to be filled-in and recreated in August!
This week in the restoration, the team continued to save as much of the original Leduc as possible. This entails gluing down peeling yellow paint back onto the walls. The next step in the restoration is the removal of the seven layers of paint which hide the original art work.
This week, the restorers worked on securing the peeling paint onto the walls. This process consists of steaming and gluing the peeling pieces. This is extremely important as Leduc's layers are amongst those layers of paint flaking off the walls. Salvaging the peeling paint means salvaging the original art work.