Sustainable conservation: a pilot program for regional NSW and emerging conservators, AICCM and Bathurst Regional Council
In 2017 AICCM and Grimwade Centre received a NSW government Community Heritage grant to deliver a pilot program for students and emerging conservators to gain experience working with Bathurst Regional Council. The project builds on a growing partnership with Bathurst since Robyn Sloggett received the 2016 Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal.
In November, Grimwade students Lisa Mansfield, Christina Kong, and Laura Gransbury volunteered at Chifley Home and Education Centre in Bathurst and at the Bathurst District Historical Society where they had the opportunity to hone their preventive conservation skills. The project provided two-way benefits: practical outcomes for Bathurst Regional Council and valuable experience for students. Grimwade alumni and Bathurst local, Amy Heffernan is now working with Bathurst Council and the Historical Society to scope further projects for 2018, including a conservation showcase at the Heritage Trades Trail. We welcome suggestions for similar projects throughout NSW from all members of the AICCM, especially Emerging Conservators and students and recent graduates from the University of Canberra or the Grimwade Centre.
Paper and paintings staff attended the Richard Wolbers ‘Cleaning Painted Surfaces and Paper’ workshops held at the State Library of Victoria and Museum Victoria in late January. All staff found the lectures and practical sessions to be most valuable, adding to their repertoire of cleaning approaches.
In the paintings lab, staff continue to work on a range of items from both public and private collections, including Broken Hill’s showcase painting, ‘Vae Victis, the sack of Morocco by the Almohades’, by artist Arthur Hacker. While the treatment largely focused on the treatment of the frame, some analysis was also conducted on the materials and techniques of the painting. More information on this project can be read at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-10/dark-history-behind-broken-hill-va…
War Heritage Roadshow
2017 saw Grimwade Centre staff and students travelling around Victoria delivering one and two-day workshops for the War Heritage Roadshow. The War Heritage Roadshow is an initiative of the Victorian Government, Department of Premier and Cabinet – Veterans Branch to deliver free workshops in care of wartime memorabilia. Last year our team travelled over 4,500 kilometres, seeing approximately 6,000 artefacts and meeting more than 1,500 people.
Caroline Fry (Grimwade Centre) and Alexis Arrowsmith (Veterans Branch) will be presenting about the project at the conference Renovated, rebuilt, saved – how they survived WWII. Conservation, preservation and prevention of items from the years 1939-1945 at the Warsaw Rising Museum, Poland in April.
The final roadshow event will be held on 21-22 April 2018 in conjunction with Museums Victoria, please spread the word. Some stories and key artefacts will be on display during the April event as well as featuring online. For information and bookings: http://arts.unimelb.edu.au/grimwadecentre/engagement/war-heritage-roadsh…
The ANKA Safe Keeping Report
Marcelle Scott worked with ANKA (Arnhem, Northern and Kimberley Artists Aboriginal Corporation) to complete the Safe Keeping report on the care and management of Art Centre-based community collections. Based on the views of 29 ANKA-supported Art Centres and artist groups across the region, the report provides a snapshot of current conditions in the sector from which some suggestions for next steps can be drawn. ANKA and the Grimwade Centre are now in discussion about realising some of these next steps. As Djambawa Marawil, ANKA Chairman, wrote in the foreword to the report, ‘To keep culture alive in our blood and our soul, we need to continue looking after and caring for these collections. To have other tools to teach so that art and patterns will be safe, clean and well looked after. This is important; it is the history of Australia’.
New PhD students at the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation
The following PhD candidates are commencing their studies at the Grimwade Centre this year: Cancy Chu, ‘Managing malignant plastics in archives’; Bronwyn Cosgrove, ‘A Practical Preservation Framework for Malignant Plastics in Australian Textile Collections’; Libby Melzer, ‘A Study of the Materials and Techniques of a group of Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in Australian Collections’; Catherine Nunn, ‘The Materials and Techniques of the Australian Impressionists’; Sharon Wong, ‘Plastics in archaeology: Identification of plastics excavated from archaeological sites and corresponding historical and conservation implications’; Huishu Zhang, ‘Developing Risk Management Methodologies by Mapping Environmental Hazards and Risks to Cultural Heritage’; Paul O’Halloran ‘The Appropriation of Indigenous Art’; Diana Tay Materials and Techniques Investigation of a Collection of Contemporary Art.