I met Alison whilst working on a commission today and I think that she has a fascinating job. I really felt like talking to her all day but she needed to concentrate a little. Alison is a Paint Conservator and works for Hirst Conservation.
Today, Alison was peeling back a small section of wall to reveal all the previous layers of pattern and decoration. It must be a painstaking job and I imagine you need to be really patient (she was literally picking small flakes of paint away from the wall and depositing them into a bag). I imagine the job is much like a forensic scientist - but there is not only science involved, there is also an appreciation of art. It must be a lovely feeling stripping back time to see the work of our forebears. I believe that Alison's work is a significant part of our need to understand and be rooted into the culture of our ancestors - to really see and feel what they really saw and felt, to grasp their appreciations and anxieties.
Pattern and decoration can give us so much of an insight into this.