ponedjeljak, 28. travnja 2014.

Learning Outside the Classroom

UVODNA NAPOMENA Sagita Mirjam Sunara, doc.

U Zagrebu je od 24. do 26. travnja održana 11. međunarodna konferencija studija konzervacije-restauracije na kojoj je aktivno sudjelovalo šestero studenata Odsjeka za konzervaciju-restauraciju Umjetničke akademije u Splitu.

11. međunarodnu konferenciju studija konzervacije-restauracije organizirao je Odjel za konzerviranje i restauriranje umjetnina Akademije likovnih umjetnosti u Zagrebu

Helena Ugrina, studentica pete godine koja specijalizira konzerviranje-restauriranje kamena, održala je predavanje na temu "Is crust black or white? A study in Croatian conservation – restoration terminology". Mentorica joj je bila profesorica engleskog jezika mr. sc. Katarina Hraste.

Studenti druge godine Karmen Milić i Josip Nižetić pod mojim su mentorskim vodstvom izradili postere o projektu preventivne konzervacije u crkvi sv. Josipa (Lazara) na otoku Čiovu. Riječ je o projektu koji je realiziran prošle akademske godine u sklopu kolegija o preventivnoj konzervaciji, o čemu smo pisali ovdje.

Brucošice Bernarda Đurić, Nikolina Lovrić i Katarina Cvrlje izradile su poster o kolegiju Metode istraživanja i dokumentiranja u konzervaciji-restauraciji, točnije o izvanučioničkim (i nekim učioničkim) aktivnostima u sklopu toga kolegija. Poster je naslovljen "Learning Outside the Classroom: Mastering the basics of scientific research and the conservation-restoration documentation", a njegov tekst donosim u nastavku. Tekst je pisan na engleskom, jer je to bio službeni jezik 11. međunarodne konferencije studija konzervacije-restauracije.

Ovo nije prvi put da studenti prezentiraju izvanučioničke aktivnosti u sklopu kolegija o metodama istraživanja i dokumentiranja; to je bila i tema izložbe fotografija koju je prije dvije godine priredila studentica Ivana Vukadin.

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Learning Outside the Classroom

Mastering the Basics of Scientific Research and the Conservation-Restoration Documentation 

Students: Bernarda Đurić, Nikolina Lovrić and Katarina Cvrlje
Mentor: Sagita Mirjam Sunara, Assistant Professor
Translation from Croatian into English: Sagita Mirjam Sunara
Proofreading: Graham McMaster

Through the compulsory course Methods of Research and Documentation in Conservation-Restoration first-year students are introduced to the methodology of scientific and practical research. They learn how to use scientific literature and to write seminars, scientific and professional papers. The major part of the course, however, is devoted to conservation-restoration documentation, from writing condition reports to interviewing contemporary artists. The course includes lectures, practical work, student presentations and group discussions. It also includes visits to libraries, museums and galleries, and this poster presents outcomes of those outside-the-classroom activities. The Artist in the Classroom project, through which students learn how to document information on contemporary artists' materials and techniques, is also presented.

Fortress of Klis: Our first practical experience

At the beginning of the semester the course instructor took us to the fortress of Klis. We were assigned the task of cleaning cast iron shelf brackets in the building in which the collection of the historical military unit "Kliški uskoci" is exhibited. The collection is composed of historical weaponry and replicas of uskok arms and uniforms. Apart from cleaning the corroded iron brackets, we also had to document the works carried out. We learned that an object has to be photographed before and after the treatment. Basic information about the object has to be recorded, as well as its as-found condition and the treatment procedures. When describing a treatment, it is very important to note all the methods and materials employed. 

University Library of Split: Documentation has to be preserved, too!

During the visit to the University Library in Split we learned how to search for library material in the card and the online catalogue. More importantly, we learned how to use and cite library materials in our papers. 

A visit to the Preservation and Digitization Department was especially interesting. The head of the department explained that there are many causes of paper degradation. We learned about the harmful effects of high humidity, temperature and light. We also learned that, over time, the acidity of paper increases. This made us wonder what will happen to documentation in printed form in the future… It has to be preserved, as well! Perhaps existing records could be converted into a digital format. At the Preservation and Digitization Department we observed how this is done with old newspapers. 

City Museum of Split: Introduction to museum documentation 

The visit to the City Museum of Split was very informative. The museum educator gave us a guided tour of the collections. We learned that her job is to improve visitors' understanding and appreciation of the museum collection and temporary exhibitions. We find public outreach very important in our profession, as well, because we need to raise awareness about the need to protect and preserve cultural heritage. 

We had a short lecture on museum documentation. We learned that most Croatian museums use special information and documentation software, M++. a part of the secondary museum documentation, for which another computer program, S++, is used. In addition to this, museum conservators-restorers are required to write reports on their treatments. 

Finally, we visited the Painting Conservation- Restoration studio. There we saw a painting on canvas that had recently suffered damage. Fortunately, the Museum Photo Archive holds an old photo of the painting, which will help conservators- restorers to reconstruct missing areas of the painting. This was a reminder of the importance of photographic documentation. 

Gallery of Fine Arts in Split: Non-destructive techniques of examination 

The permanent exhibition of the Gallery of Fine Arts in Split includes almost 400 artworks dating from mid-14th century to present. After a guided tour of the exhibition, we visited the Conservation-Restoration studio. The gallery's conservators-restorers had brought out for us  two paintings on panels. First we observed them with an infrared (IR) camera that was connected to a computer. It enabled us to see what lies below the varnish and the paint. We then took the paintings to a dark room and inspected them under ultraviolet (UV) light. UV fluorescence helps reveal past interventions (retouchings and overpaintings), as well as the presence of natural resin varnishes. It can also help identify the materials used by the artist, as certain materials and pigments fluoresce with distinct colours under UV. We learned that conservators- restorers use a wide variety of instrumentation and analytical techniques to examine and study objects. The results of this research also have to be documented. 

Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments: Documentation of archaeological finds

In the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments we visited the exhibition on the medieval village Baba-lokva. Fragments of pottery found at the site were displayed above technical drawings of the vessels. We thought it was wonderful that the objects were reconstructed only in the drawing, not physically, as this is in line with the principle of minimal intervention. In the Museum's permanent exhibition there are more examples of drawings that help explain the original appearance or function of the object displayed. 

Artist Interview

All first-year students participate in the Artist in the Classroom project, which the course instructor, Assistant Professor Sagita Mirjam Sunara, initiated in 2011. Through this project students learn the basics of conducting artist interviews. More importantly, they learn about the issues surrounding the preservation and exhibition of contemporary artworks. 

Every year students interview one contemporary artist. Our guest this year was the Split-based artist Viktor Popović. Through the interview we collected information about the materials and techniques he uses, their meaning, his creative process and the ideas embodied in his artworks. We were especially interested in learning how Viktor sees the future of his artworks, i.e. how they should be displayed and preserved. 

The interview was recorded and we produced a transcript. Transcribing the interview was a demanding job, but we know that this information will be of great use to future conservators-restorers, curators, art historians and other researchers. 

Follow our blog!

You can read all about our activities on our course blog UAR00M, which is available at: http://istrazivanje-dokumentacija.blogspot.com/ We use the blog to present our work and engage public interest in conservation-restoration.