The world as we know it swirls around us as objects, ideas and aspirations. How we make sense of it is dependent on what we have access to, what we can imagine and how we are enabled to think, learn and do. The loss, degradation, or inauthenticity of cultural material threatens the security of our knowledge and the construction of identity, and community that is unable to access its cultural, historic and scientific records is impeded in its ability to construct relevant and effective cultural futures. Conversely, a well-secured cultural record assists a community to tell its stories, understand its past, and cement its identity into the future.
Taking Chinua Achebe’s 1958 novel as the point of departure, in this lecture Professor Robyn Sloggett, Cripps Foundation Chair in Cultural Materials Conservation, explores the ways in which risks to a community’s cultural heritage result in broader risks in education, health, knowledge transfer and well-being; demonstrates the value of cultural material preservation; and celebrates the extraordinary documents that help us maintain a sense of who we are and who we might be.
Professor Robyn Sloggett is the Cripps Foundation Chair in Cultural Materials Conservation and Director of the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation at the University of Melbourne. Her research interests include attribution and authentication of Australian paintings, the development of the Australian art market, collection development and history, the investigation of the materials and techniques of artists, and the preservation of cultural materials held in Australian Indigenous communities. She holds qualifications in art history, philosophy, and cultural materials conservation (applied science), and a PhD from The University of Melbourne.
Date: 28 March 2018, 6:45 PM to 7:45 PM
Venue: Kathleen Fitzpatrick Theatre, Arts West Building, The University of Melbourne, Parkville VIC 3010
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