Keeping the record straight

As part of the Gallery’s upcoming 30th Anniversary Celebrations in 2013, I am about to begin documenting my past furniture pieces and other woodwork. The intention here is threefold: firstly we wish to establish an asset register of all the past and current work produced by me for the Gallery; secondly, we have recently undertaken a role of encouraging ourselves and our contributing makers and artists to adopt a regime of full and comprehensive provenance procedures to comply with a “best practice” situation regarding specific works; and thirdly, as part of the 30th year celebrations I will be publishing a book of my work in conjunction with a general history of the Gallery’s activities, buildings and significant events and exhibitions since its inception in 1983.

Over the next year or two, but beginning as soon as practicable and with the permission of furniture owners, I would like to identify, source and document as many of my past significant pieces as possible.

I would offer to pick the piece of furniture up and deliver it to the Gallery where the piece will be assessed, the finish revived and enhanced (short of removing any scratches, dents or repairing any existing structural damage etc.) and have the piece photographed to publication standards. The piece would remain in the gallery for display on a raised platform where it will be safe from handling by Gallery visitors, and be returned in due course.

As part of the identification and establishment of provenance process, and with the owner’s permission, I would like to attach a “maker’s mark” to the piece in an inconspicuous place. This would be in the form of a specially produced laser insert timber tag.


I would like to begin the documenting process in mid June 2011. This process may continue through to 2012 and will offer a written Report that will be of use to the owner, and would facilitate valuations for ownership, estate and legacy purposes.

I hope that the inconvenience of removing a piece of furniture for a week or two will be offset by the usefulness of the Report to the owner, the revitalized finish of the piece, and inclusion in the future publication that would be available to you either free of charge or at a specially reduced price, depending on the level and cost of production of the book.

David Mac Laren, Artistic Director

Monday 30 May 2011