State-of-the art facilities in the new Grimwade Centre

March 15 / 154

Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation. Image: Emily Bartlett
Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation. Image: Emily Bartlett

New research and teaching labs – with cutting edge analytical equipment to detect the paints and pigments used by artists and examine drawings underneath paintings – will be housed in the new Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation.

Director of the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, Associate Professor Robyn Sloggett said that the new state-of-the-art facilities would benefit students, museums and collections across Australia and the Asia Pacific region.

“In order to train the next generation of art and cultural conservators, we work closely with museums, collectors and communities to restore objects and items that are often tucked away in collections,” said Associate Professor Sloggett. “We offer assistance when communities don’t have the resources to protect and conserve damaged items.
“The Centre has a very practical industry focus and strong community connections, including a long term partnership with the RSL LifeCare ANZAC Village in Narrabeen, and with the Warmun community in Western Australia.”

The Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation works closely with Indigenous artists from a number of communities across Australia.

“Our relationship with the Warmun community in Western Australia is particularly strong,” said Associate Professor Sloggett “after we worked with Elders to save over 600 significant paintings and objects from the community following the flood in 2011.

“The cultural and spiritual significance of an object or artwork informs the way we undertake conservation. We don’t necessarily aim to make an object look like it did when it first was made, but allow the history and meaning it has to people, evident in its use to remain present in the object.”

As part of Believe – the Campaign for the University of Melbournea gift of $6.9 million from the Cripps Foundation has enabled the creation of the Grimwade Centre. 

Story by Laura Soderlind 

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