Deborah has worked as an independent paper conservator since 1980. She trained at Camberwell School of Art and is an accredited member of ICON, the Institute of Conservation. She is a conservator of all works on paper, but has a special interest in 18th and 19th century pastel and chalk drawings. Here, she enjoys the challenge presented by the medium and the satisfaction of finding solutions for the conservation and restoration of work that is particularly prone to suffering change, neglect or mishandling. Deborah has a developed expertise in this area, acquired over 40 years’ practice and inquiry. It has been her delight and privilege to work on artists as diverse as Watteau to Degas, Burne-Jones to Schiele.
As director of The Deborah Bates Gallery from 1996 to 2003 and as partner in contemporary art gallery Wyer Gallery from 2005 to 2014, Deborah developed a keen interest in contemporary artists’ working practices. In recent years, and in keeping with new directions in conservation, Deborah has enjoyed working for some of London’s leading contemporary galleries, including Frieze Art Fair, on the conservation of works by living artists. Designing solutions for the conservation of conceptual and installation work has been keeping her on her toes!
When she’s not in the studio, Deborah enjoys taking long walks with doggies Esme and Frith.
Jane’s involvement with the studio began in 2000 having gained her MA in Conservation (Works on Paper) from Camberwell College of Art in 1999. She is experienced in the conservation of fine art and archival works on paper.
In September 2005, with Deborah as co-director, Jane founded the Wyer Gallery, a contemporary commercial art gallery specialising in works by emerging artists. A dialogue with practitioners, collectors and curators in her capacity as gallery director was hugely enjoyable; it continues to inform her practice both in the conservation studio and as a consultant on works on paper.
Outside her role in Deborah Bates Conservation you’ll find her playing the mandolin or walking her dogs on the Kent Downs.
The conservation studio is a large, fully-equipped, designed space in a converted barn in the grounds of Deborah’s home ‘Pickersdane’. It has all the necessary materials and apparatus to enable specialist treatment of items of all shapes and sizes; is secure, fully alarmed and insured to meet stringent museum and auction house requirements for the safeguarding of important works.
Independent Paper Conservators’ Group
Speaker: Deborah Bates ACR
In her first IPCG event Deborah plans to lay it all bare. In pursuit of a more candid dialogue in a profession where independent practitioners can still seem to be working behind locked studio doors, she will be sharing some of the mistakes made, insights learnt and trade secrets acquired in a 40-year career.