What’s been happening for student conservators over the last few months? We’re glad you asked.
Second Life: Conserving Experience
Now showing in the GPG Project Spaces (George Paton Gallery), student-led exhibition Second Life: Conserving Experience examines the importance of preserving everyday things. Photographs, toys, teacups, paintings, games, posters and other personally significant items are material evidence of culture, community and family – linking contemporary life to the past, and to formative experiences. Objects on display are ‘works in progress’; their interventive and preventive conservation captured through time-lapse photography. Participating student conservators: Joshua Cassidy, Catherine Gill, Sholeh Magzub, Chris Redman, Lisa Mansfield, Christine Mizzi and Katrina Watson. Celebratory event: 19 September, 5–7pm, Union House, University of Melbourne. All welcome.
Offensive Art? – Art as a vehicle for provocation and change
Featuring a large textile work by artist/student conservator Rachel Jones, Offensive Art? is a group exhibition showcasing works that indicate provocation through exploration of censorship, transgression, taboos, scandal and social standards. Show dates: 7–23 September. Opening night: Friday 7 September, 6–9pm, Brunswick Street Gallery. All welcome.
New SC@M Podcast
Now in the editing phase, SC@M has completed its first podcast interview. Student conservators Lily Bennion and Elizabeth Gralton chat about the conservation of tangible/intangible Aboriginal cultural heritage, Lily’s recent trip to the Warmun Art Centre, and her university internship at the Waringarri Aboriginal Art Centre in Kununnura, WA. Available soon for download at: studentconservators.com
Konservaction Project #2
Building on a 2017 student-led initiative in Indonesia, the Bali Disaster
Preparedness Conservation Program, student conservators Saiful Bakhri, Grace Barrand, and Jessica Gray travelled to Bali for the second project by Saiful’s conservation group Konservaction. This project provided rehousing for Museum Pustaka Lontar’s collection of palm-leaf manuscripts (some up to 400 years old), and a plan for managing and storing the unique collection within the community as the museum is built. The initiative provided a platform for Grimwade Centre students to develop skills in project management, workshop delivery, and cross-cultural teaching. Saiful, Grace and Jessie learnt about the importance of environmental sustainability to the community, and the significance of the wooden boxes that traditionally house the manuscripts and how to carve them. In turn, they delivered a rehousing workshop to museum and community representatives using conservation-grade corrugated board from Australia. Generously funded by an SEG grant from The University of Melbourne.
Our workshop series is back for the next 3 years, generously funded by an SSAF grant from The University of Melbourne. Grimwade centre students recently enjoyed a fun paintings-based workshop with Master’s students from curatorship, arts heritage, and arts management, led by paintings conservator Sabine Cotte and artist/emerging conservator Kim Vernon. Upcoming workshops include screen-printing, hand-built ceramics and Indigenous weaving.
Grimwade Centre Internships
Grimwade Centre students have been taking on internships, travelling locally, interstate and to far-flung places – including the Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore and Wales – gaining a range of new skills along the way.
Read about Kate Ritchie’s internship at the Australian War Memorial here: https://www.studentconservators.com/2018-australian-war-memorial-internship
Professional Development in the field
In July, student conservator Alexandra Taylor represented the Grimwade Centre at International Conservation Services in Sydney working on a variety of projects including cleaning, infilling and inpainting a series of oil, wax and acrylic polymer emulsion colour-field paintings by artist Tony McGillick in preparation for an upcoming exhibition at Macquarie University; and the cleaning and inpainting a large community-loved mural at the Matraville RSL that had been damaged by fire.
ICOM 2018 Essay Winner
Student conservator Perri Sparnon recently won the 2018 ICOM Australia International Museum Day competition for her essay entitled ‘Hyperconnected museums: new approaches, new publics’. Perri’s focus on material culture and the specific practice of conservation was unique amongst the essay submissions, and her choice of case study, Making the invisible visible: conservation and Islamic art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, gave focus to more subtle issues such as ‘invisible’ legacies that reside within cultural materials.
Her essay can be downloaded here: https://bit.ly/2wFZgX9
Student Conservators for Timor-Leste (SCTL)
Our friends at SCTL have some stellar events coming up: Trivia Night (13 September) and a two-day Language and Culture Immersion program (15–16 October).
Much like the SCTL x SC@M trivia night earlier this year, another night of general revelry will be held at the Clyde Hotel. Expect there be raffles, chances to donate (hints can be purchased through (non-discreet) bribes), and drinks at discounted prices. Tickets are $10; money raised will help fund SCTL projects and events.
The STCL Language and Culture Immersion program presents two days of Timorese culture with help from Timorlink’s Katrina Langford, and caterers Sabores de Timor. There will be Tetun lessons, delicious lunches (vegan friendly) and activities. A great chance to encounter Timorese culture in way that is engaged, fun and delicious all at once.
See these and other SCTL events at: https://bit.ly/2oCrrmi
For more information about student projects and events check out their website: https://www.studentconservators.com/