Specialist Conservation Week at Iziko

22 Jul 2019 - 11:15

Iziko South African National Gallery's conservator Angela Zehnder organised yet another of the gallery's annual Specialist Conservation Week workshops. Every year, as part of Conservation Week, the honours in curatorship students, along with other students from around the country and a selected number of institutional professionals, take part in this informative and invaluable workshop. This year the workshop ran from the 15th to the 19th of July with invited conservator Patricia Smithen.

Patricia Smithin is an assistant professor at Queen's University, Kingston. She is currently doing doctoral research into the development and impact of artists’ acrylic paints in the United Kingdom through the Collaborative Doctoral Awards Programme at the Courtauld Institute of Arts and the Tate Gallery. The week-long workshop included discussions on modern and contemporary painting in relation to conservation and incorporated Smithen's personal experiences, especially those from her time on the conservation department at the Tate. There were two open lectures that members of the public could attend, one titled "More than painting: art on the edge" which looked at artworks made from less traditional materials and, the second, "Artist's conversation" which was a discussion between artist Penny Siopis and Smithen on the painting techniques used by Siopis and the implications these have on conservation.

The honours in curatorship class in the workshop, photo by Geena Wilkinson.

Open talk with Penny Siopis and Patricia Smithen, photo by Geena Wilkinson.

Honours in curatorship students Afrah Mayet and Phoka Nyokong engaging with Claudette Schreuders' Bust of Tibbie Steyn (2001) during a quick break between talks, photo by Geena Wilkinson.

Header photo of the workshop participants by Nigel Pamplin, Iziko Museums South Africa.