Originally written by David Trerise in May 2012
It is now over 20 months since the first earthquake ripped through Canterbury’s pasturelands in September 2010. Many of our clients are now returning their artworks to their former locations, while others are going for a complete change. But the re-installation of artwork needs careful consideration. One of the more enjoyable parts for us is assisting clients with the positioning of their collections. When you have 20 or so pieces it can be at first a daunting task but with a little help it can be an enjoyable process with a satisfying result.
Once the location and layout for each artwork is resolved consideration must be given to the use of hooks, screws and nails etc. Christchurch is now an earthquake zone and while light works may still be installed with the traditional hook and nail, larger and heavier works need a more careful approach. These need not be a problem as there are methods of installation that make hanging these more challenging works possible.
Consideration must be given to the type of wall. Concrete walls are not a problem, even if they have a plaster coating. The main thing to remember is to be sure you have chosen the right position – changing the location leaves a hole that will need to be filled. But with that proviso, concrete walls are good for a variety of different of hangers. At City Art we recommend key-hole hangers and Quake Hold hooks.
With hollow walls we use high quality hollow wall anchors. Standard hooks in hollow, Gib-board covered walls can be dragged down and ping out of the wall in a large earthquake. We have also found Quake Hold hangers to be effective for works on a traditional wire. The design makes it very difficult for the wire to jump off the hook. These can be installed with a nail, a heavy screw or hollow-wall anchors.
If you have the opportunity to improve the standard of the wall itself, as is often the case with Christchurch renovations or rebuilds, we advise lining walls with plywood and then applying a plaster board. This will improve the wall bracing and allow for the secure fixing of artworks anywhere on the wall. We have many clients asking their builders for this form of bracing, especially on walls where they want to hang their art collections.
City Art provides a comprehensive installation service from assistance with layout design to the actual hanging of your artworks. For me, the most satisfying part of the process is the completion. Once again the walls of our houses are returned with the familiar and loved artworks and family pictures that the earthquakes have denied us. Be confident that you can again enjoy those vertical spaces.