Museum of Brisbane

St Helena painting restored

Unknown to many, restoring an artwork is a fine art in itself.

While Trisha Anderson had taken great care of the painting, it was in need of some restoration to bring to light its true beauty. To do this, we called on the help of Caroline O’Rourke, a paper conservator who specialises in print and watercolours.

The poor quality of the paper and the materials used are telling of their time. As a prisoner on the Island, Charles Winn – who painted the work from a boat looking back at St Helena – would have had very limited access to resources.

Sustaining its fair share of damage from insects, light exposure, water and from the frame it was mounted in, the painting needed to undergo an intricate treatment process to remove dirt and dust, flatten scratches and abrasions and bring back its original vibrancy.

In this video, our Director Peter Denham and Caroline discuss the beautiful work, and what the fascinating restoration process entails.

Learn more: How the painting was discovered