Art Gallery of NSW
Between 1998 and 2012 as a Building Supervisor at the Art Gallery of NSW, I engaged SMA to carry out various works, both on interior travertine floors and exterior sandstone.
Rick and Tyron were able to seamlessly and skilfully, isolate and contain their works in an environment which houses an invaluable collection of cultural property - and the visiting public. To say that the work method and protocols they had to conform to were ‘hobbling’, would be an understatement. Their work was always to Museum Standard and they carried out tasks in the equivalent of laboratory conditions.
They were always able to source travertine and sandstone which was well matched to existing.
The skills of the team come from a family of 3 successive generations of Stonemasons, and the high standards they uphold seem to have percolated down to all their employees. Rick and Tyron demonstrate a tacit understanding of heritage masonry and the value they place on it is expressed in their work.
I recently visited the SMA works yard at Leichhardt to view the Gargoyles and Bosses from the Great Hall at Sydney Uni. They had carved new to replace the old ones which had fretted away. Lying next to the new, deeply undercut forms emerging from blocks, were the old ones which had weathered so much they had lost their sharp definition like melted ice cream.
I am currently in partnership with a conservator and I still consult SMA. I recently commissioned them on a smaller project. SMA delivered sandstone of a very high grade with no clay content. Consistent in colour, pattern and quality it resulted in negligible wastage. The final trimming off was completed on site.
I would recommend their work to anyone who regards quality as paramount.
Building Services, Art Gallery of NSW.
1997 to present.
Partnership Conservator Schumacher/Coburn.