At the moment I am working as a contract paper conservator for the Imperial War Museum, preparing mainly First World War objects for exhibition in the new galleries that will open next year for the Centenary. One of the advantages of working for a National Museum is the opportunity to get involved with various education and outreach activities, and talk to people outside of the studio about our work. A current project at IWM is the Young Reporters scheme, which gets children from local schools to report on IWM’s First World War Centenary plans, and look at how the Museum is transforming itself (at the moment IWM London is closed for major building works and redevelopment). As part of this project myself and my studio colleague Rachel were invited to be interviewed by a group of Young Reporters for their podcast series. I was really impressed as they seemed to already have a grasp of what conservation is (fairly unusual for 9 year olds!) and I greatly enjoyed talking to them. The interviews were a great success (you can listen to them below), and so we have decided to build on them by holding workshops for the Young Reporters next month. We will be having practical sessions in objects and paper conservation, bookbinding, and pest identification. My part will be to show them how to do tear repairs and for this we will use facsimiles of some of the WWI posters I have been working on. It’s nice to think that Lambeth will soon be full of children who know exactly what paper conservation is, unlike a lot of the rest of the population who often think I save trees when I call myself a paper conservator!
IWM London will reopen at the end of July. There is more about Transforming IWM London here.