Re-stretching Sally Gabori’s ‘Dulka Warngiid’


This video shows the re-stretching of Dulka Warngiid, one of several 6m long paintings in the exhibition ‘Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori: Duka Warngiid – Land of all‘ showcasing the artist’s early paintings, and her large collaborative works with other Kaiadilt women on view at the Queensland Art Gallery until 28 August 2016.

Dulka Warngiid 2007 installed at the Queensland Art Gallery / © The artists / Licensed by Viscopy, 2016

Transporting oversized works of art presents logistical challenges which sometimes require paintings on canvas to be removed from their stretcher supports to be rolled and crated for shipping.

Paintings are typically rolled face out on a large diameter cylinder to minimise stresses in the image layers. Unstretched paintings are physically vulnerable and require careful handling and protection at all times.

The stretcher support for the painting was shipped separately and has been reassembled from its component parts. A clean surface area is prepared in the exhibition space onto which the painting is unrolled face down. The stretcher is carefully lowered onto the canvas and positioned precisely to align with existing corner and edge folds.

Temporary pinning allows the alignment to be checked. Staples are then used to attach the canvas to the stretcher, applied through a webbing tape which helps protect the canvas and assists removal of the staples at the conclusion of the exhibition. Even tension is usually best achieved by working from opposite centres in stages before finishing at the corners. Timber keys are inserted into the stretcher joints to maintain tension in the canvas. Hanging hardware is attached to the back of the painting and to the wall and levels are checked. Careful support is provided across the 6m span as the stretched painting is raised and lifted into position.

Gillian Osmond, Conservator of Paintings, QAGOMA oversaw the project.

Kaiadilt Women’s Collaborative
Birmuyingathi Maali Netta Loogatha, Australia b.1942
Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori, Australia c.1924–2015
Warthadangathi Bijarrba Ethel Thomas, Australia b.1946
Thunduyingathi Bijarrb May Moodoonuthi, Australia 1929–2008
Kuruwarriyingathi Bijarrb Paula Paul, Australia b.(c.)1937
Wirrngajingathi Bijarrb Kurdalalngk Dawn Naranatjil, Australia 1935–2009
Rayarriwarrtharrbayingathi Mingungurra Amy Loogatha, Australia b.1942
Kaiadilt people
Dulka Warngiid 2007
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
195 x 610cm
Purchased with funds donated by Catherine Allen, Carolyn Berger and Delma Valmorbida, 2007
Collection: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
© The artists / Licensed by Viscopy, 2016

Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori: Dulka Warngiid – Land of all
Until 28 August 2016 | QAG | Free
Buy the Publication

Fluent: Aboriginal Women’s Paintings from the Collection
Until 28 August 2016 | QAG | Free

Indigenous Australian Collection: Everywhen, Everywhere
Permanent Collection | QAG | Free

Line + Form: Paintings and Sculpture from the Indigenous Australian Collection
Until 13 November 2016 | GOMA | Free