Conservator in Residence
2020-21: Kimberly Selvaggi
I am honoured to have the opportunity to be the 1st Conservator in Residence at UCL Slade School of Fine Art.
I am currently enrolled in the MSc Conservation for Archaeology and Museums at the Institute of Archaeology, where I am pursuing a career in the practice of heritage conservation with a special interest in dyes, paints, and pigments and their use in architecture, painting, and sculpture. As a conservator, I have been given the opportunity to experiment with and learn from a variety of materials. However, colours; how they are produced and used has always held my fascination. I trained as a fine artist for many years and got my undergraduate degree in art history, which is where my passion for the arts stems from. I often create copies of Old Master’s paintings, where I place significant importance towards researching techniques and materials the original artist used in an attempt to understand and replicate the artist’s process and work. My conservation research this year is focused around finding sustainable pigments for both conservators to use in the retouching of paintings and decorated surfaces, as well as for artists to use in the production of their own work.
I am also working on an object that is part of the Slade Archive Project, which will be going on display at UCL in 2021 with other objects and works of art to celebrate the school’s 150th anniversary. The object is a wooden ammunition box from the second World War that belonged to William Menzies Coldstream, Slade Professor from 1949 – 75, who repurposed the box to contain his paint supplies. I am using a variety of analyses on the ammunition box to gather more information about its life history, as well as organising and preserving the contents that were found inside.
I am very much looking forward to experimenting with different materials and techniques throughout the various Materials Research Project Workshops and will share my projects in an attempt to provoke a curiosity in materiality. I hope to gain a greater understanding of artist’s materials and learn new ways of creating with the staff and students at the Slade.