The importance of Artist’s Voice: Developing a treatment plan for Dora Kovačević’s sculpture "Zid" (The Wall)

Author: Tina Tomšič, MA
Mentor: Sagita Mirjam Sunara, Assistant Professor

Arts Academy, Split (Croatia)
Study programme: Integrated undergraduate and graduate course of study in conservation-restoration
Specialization: Easel paintings and polychrome wood (graduated in February 2016)


The paper discusses the topic of artist interview, explaining how the preparatory research should be conducted and the interview questions set up. Tina TomsicIt also demonstrates how the information obtained in the interview could be used, not only for the purposes of conservation-restoration, but also to the advantage of historians, art historians and other researchers. 

The case study interview was conducted with the sculptor and graphic artist Dora Kovačević. In 1985, Kovačević participated in the Sisak Steelworks Artists Colony, creating a steel sculpture entitled The Wall. Along with other outdoor sculptures made by the residents of the Colony, The Wall was entered in the Heritage Register of the Republic of Croatia, in 2012. Subsequently, a project was initiated to protect and conserve the collection, now called the Sisak Sculpture Park. The aim of the artist interview was to learn more about the Colony and about The Wall sculpture: how it was created, what its meaning is, what the artist thinks of its present state and display environment, etc. The information collected will help the conservator-restorer make an informed decision about the future treatment and display of the sculpture.

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Short biography

TINA TOMŠIČ earned her master's degree in conservation-restoration in February 2016. Although Tina specialized in conservation-restoration of easel paintings and polychrome wood, during her studies she gained extensive knowledge in preventive conservation and conservation-restoration of metalwork. She participated in four conservation-restoration workshops in the Sisak Sculpture Park (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). She presented the lecture "Yathagan – between functionality and aesthetic expression" at the 10th International Conference of the Conservation-Restoration Studies. She was a member of the organizing committee of the student conferences that were held in Split in 2012 and 2015, and a part of the technical staff in charge of the organization of the international conference SPark: Conservation of Sculpture Parks (Sisak, 2015).