Leonie Van Der Graaf ACR
Studio Manager and Head Conservator-Restorer
I have been a restorer and conservator of paintings since 1992 having been inspired to take a Dip Con in the Conservation of Easel paintings at the Courtauld Institute of Art following my BA in the History of Art at Westfield College, University of London. The conservation of paintings was an ideal career for me as it combined my practical artistic abilities with my love of art history.
I am the head conservator at Simon Gillespie Studio and have been working here for ten years or more……
What I like most about conservation is the real connection that you can feel with an artist or a sitter working so intensely and for so long with a particular work of art. To think of the hand that made that particular brushstroke all those years ago, to imagine the personality behind those eyes that you are dotting in. Sometimes the detail of a ring or a finger print can make that connection even closer.
Prior to joining Simon I worked in a variety of private studios, museums and institutions, including Tate and The National Trust in London.
When I am not at the Studio I am most in happy working on and creating my new garden, hill walking and watercolour painting.