Glasgow students restore iconic textiles collection
Issued: Fri, 20 Sep 2013 11:25:00 BST
Iconic works of art that hang in the committee rooms of the House of Commons in Westminster have been conserved by students at the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Textile Conservation and will be on public display on Saturday during London’s Open House weekend.
Two students from the Centre for Textile Conservation at the University of Glasgow were employed during the summer to help with conservation work on items in the Portcullis House Contemporary Textile Collection.
Jennifer Beasley and Stella Gardner were delighted to be involved when the Parliamentary Curator’s Office launched the Emerging Conservators Training Scheme to provide students with a unique opportunity to work on one of the UK’s largest public collections of contemporary textiles, and to develop their practical skills.
The building’s architect, Sir Michael Hopkins, selected textiles for their decorative and practical use as they soften the acoustics in Select Committee Meeting rooms. All the textiles have been in situ since the building opened, and after more than ten years they are now in need of care to ensure they survive in good condition for future generations to enjoy.
Five particular tapestries by acclaimed artists Allegra Hicks and Kate Blee were chosen to receive treatment which included surface cleaning, minor repairs, attachment of linings, improvement of existing mounting and hanging systems, and re-installation.
The finished work will be displayed this weekend (21-22 September) as part of the Open House Weekend, an event during which the Parliamentary Estate will be open to the public.
Jennifer Beasley said: “This scheme has given me practical experience of working on location, away from the studio. It has also allowed me to work with large objects, which is vital to building a great portfolio of work.”
Stella Gardner said: “The project offered a brilliant opportunity to work as a team on large, modern tapestries, something we had not been able to cover on the university course. The training and experience gained from this month’s project will be hugely beneficial for any future jobs in conservation.”