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Art gallery gains new specialist

Saturday, 4th May, 2019

Conservation specialist Emily Kelleher in the storage space at the Regional Art Gallery. PICTURE: Supplied Conservation specialist Emily Kelleher in the storage space at the Regional Art Gallery. PICTURE: Supplied

City Council’s efforts to digitise the city’s extensive art collection has received a welcome boost with conservation specialist Emily Kelleher joining the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery team for three months.

Ms Kelleher is a recent graduate from the Masters of Cultural Materials Conservation at the University of Melbourne, and will spend her time surveying the gallery’s collection and performing routine conservation and preservation tasks.

She will also prepare works for the digitisation process, provide a training session for staff, and give a public presentation at the gallery in June to provide insight into the delicate process of art conservation and preservation.

Ms Kelleher, who started at the gallery last month, said she was relishing the opportunity to work with pieces housed in Broken Hill’s collection.

“I believe it is a nationally significant collection that warrants more attention; it is rich and varied, however only a small portion of the collection can be on display at any one time,” she said.

“Digitising the collection will allow this vast treasure trove to eventually be accessible via the internet and enjoyed by the rest of the country.  

“I am keen to share my conservation expertise with the gallery staff and the broader heritage community, and in turn I am looking forward to learning about other areas of collection management.”

Away from her new role at the gallery, Ms Kelleher said she was thoroughly enjoying her time in the outback.

“Broken Hill is a vibrant, creative community with lots happening and a strong passion for arts, heritage and culture,” she said.

“I have found everyone to be very welcoming, and the gallery staff made me feel right at home.

“As have the friendly shop assistants and baristas who remember your coffee order only after one day. You don’t get that in many places!”

Ms Kelleher’s visit has been made possible by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage ‘Community Heritage - Peak Organisations’ grant which was awarded to the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material. 

The partnership between the BH Regional Art Gallery and the University of Melbourne forms part of Council’s Collection Digitisation Project, which is funded through the Regional Cultural Fund, Create NSW.

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