With the outbreak of the COVID-19 global pandemic, conservators have made massive adjustments with many moving from a lab-based practice to a work-from-home model. AICCM Emerging Conservators SIG and Student Conservators at Melbourne (SC@M) teamed up in early May to combat lockdown, delivering a series of free webinars from our lounge-rooms to yours. With viewers from both national and international conservation communities, the webinars have provided a new way to digitally connect with GLAM professionals across the globe in ways we seldom explored in the pre-COVID world.
Our first, Conservation in Social Media, was delivered by Lucilla Ronai, a paper conservator at the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM). Lucilla presented tips and tricks for connecting with colleagues and for presenting work across different social media channels. Content creation for each platform, navigating ethics, confidentiality agreements, and an overview of recording and editing are discussed in her inimitable style. (Catch her Conservation Starter series on YouTube.)
Another of the ANMM team, digital curator Kate Pentecost, followed on with Make Your Own Conservation Videos. Kate introduced the equipment and software needed for filming, and discussed lighting basics, budget considerations, and how to script conservation videos to best engage the intended audience. Kate will present the second part of her webinar—an online practical workshop—with us in the coming months!
Tools of the Trade: UVF and IRR Digital Imaging by Amelia O’Donnell, a paper conservator at the State Library of Queensland, is aimed at Australian conservators. Amelia talked about setting up your own camera kits, budget considerations, and the technical examination of objects using Ultraviolet Fluorescence (UVF) and Infrared Reflectography (IRR). This useful resource also provided a purchase list for those looking to expand their equipment.
Jennifer Myers, a recent paintings conservation graduate of the Winterthur / University of Delaware program, presented Build Your Online Portfolio. With portfolios being an integral part of job applications in the United States, Jennifer’s own experiences and online examples provided great insight and inspiration for Australian students and emerging conservators. She addressed the best platforms to use, access options, content ideas and how to present confidential or sensitive projects.
In July, we were thrilled to host VoCA’s first online webinar. A leading non-profit organisation, Voices in Contemporary Art (VoCA) advances artist-centred practices in the research, presentation, and preservation of contemporary art. Kate Lewis, Chief Conservator at MoMA and VoCA Board Member, Chad Alligood, Vice President of VoCA programs, and Lauren Shadford, Executive Director of VoCA, discussed VoCA’s artist-interview workshops and provided practical steps on how interactions with artists can aid your conservation practice.
The wide success and interest in this series has inspired us to extend it post-lockdown, for the rest of 2020! Upcoming webinars will include Kooramook Yakeen: Possum Dreaming with Dr Vicki Couzens of the Keerray Wooroong language group of the Gunditjmara of Western Victoria. Vicki will discuss her artistic work with museums and government, including traditional possum-skin cloak making and the revitalisation of traditional language and culture.
The aim of the series is to provide professional development opportunities for presenters and attendees alike, and to expand the interactions with our community/networks during a period where many conservators and GLAM professionals are at risk of feeling isolated. We encourage anyone with ideas for future webinars to get in contact with SC@M or through the SIG co-ordinator.
View the series on the AICCM website