LOBO REACHES NEW HEIGHTS AT THE NATIONAL GALLERIES OF SCOTLAND
A leading group of art galleries that look after one of the world’s finest collections of western art has invested in a British invention that is designed to create a safe working environment when working at height.
With more than 65,000 pieces of artwork at the National Galleries of Scotland it is essential that every care is taken to ensure they remain in pristine condition. To achieve this the galleries have purchased a LOBO System to allow conservators to clean large scale paintings in situ effectively and also equip them with the flexibility to clean at different heights.
Alastair Patten, senior art handling technician for the National Galleries of Scotland, said: “Although we have our own in-house hydraulic genie, it is not always suitable for carrying out specific jobs. We needed a straight-forward piece of kit that is easy to put together, strong, stable and didn’t take up much storage space, the LOBO System ticked all the right boxes.
” The LOBO System is an innovative work platform that can be configured to meet any access application from a space shuttle to a wall tapestry. It is put together without any tools and its unique, patented clamp provides a safe and secure working facility up to a maximum height of ten meters – making light work of cleaning at height. Personnel can reconfigure the system, adapting it from one project to another, with ease.
Since purchasing LOBO, employees at the National Galleries of Scotland have experienced firsthand the versatility of the system while building it on a staircase in a stately home to remove a painting for an exhibition.
The LOBO System also played a big part at the preparation stage for a large contemporary exhibition of Art in 2006. Turner Prize winner Douglas Gordon was exhibiting at the National Gallery of Scotland during the Edinburgh Festival and technicians needed to install around 200 -250 photographs on four walls, and each wall had to mirror-image the other wall “LOBO was the ideal solution, it provided a large working platform which was capable of having two fine-art technicians working safely on it, and in turn they were able to move from one wall to the other effortlessly, added Alastair.
The National Galleries of Scotland has also reported significant cost benefits from investing in the system. “In the past we’ve had to rely on scaffolders, which has been expensive, but since purchasing LOBO, we can carry-out virtually all of the tasks ourselves.”
“The major problem with working with external scaffolding companies in a gallery/museum environment is that the equipment is usually dirty and dusty and that is not acceptable in our line of work, you cannot have pristine works of art with dust falling onto the frame or bare canvas, said Alastair “The LOBO System can also be loaded onto our fine-art vehicle, therefore reducing transport costs. Our spend on scaffolding has been significantly reduced.” added Alastair.
The National Galleries of Scotland is just one of many satisfied customers.
Evidence from users on both sides of the Atlantic includes incredible cuts in scaffolding costs, reduced downtime whilst waiting for it to arrive and be erected and less reliance on outside contractors.
LOBO can be safely and securely erected with a minimum of training.