One of the measures of success for a commission is whether it remains intact for the life of the work – neglect can devalue the artwork and the space that it is in.  Areas to be considered for maintenance include:

Materials and Design:
Make sure that the materials and design of the project is capable of being properly maintained, testing on site can also support whether materials are suitable.

Whether the commission is for the short, medium or long term, making sure that the project outline includes funding and designation of responsibility for maintenance and stewardship is important, and may even minimise future costs. If vandalism does occur then it needs to be repaired as soon as possible to prevent future deterioration.

Thinking ahead with consultation processes working with local communities can also help ensure ownership and minimise maintenance. Vandalism is one of the biggest fears and realities around commissioning and tackling this realistically can make or break a commission. Promoting ownership with young people can be part of preventing vandalism.

Lifespan and decommissioning:
Deciding if, how, and when decommissioning might occur, as well as who would oversee removal and where responsibility for the work might lie afterwards, will help prevent future problems.

Download ‘key steps’ flow chart for maintenance (PDF)