IIC 2017 Student & Emerging Conservator Conference – Head, Hands & Heart

Head, hands & heart © HKB 2017
Thursday, 12 October, 2017 to Friday, 13 October, 2017
Place: 
Bern

IIC’s fourth Student & Emerging Conservator Conference was held in Bern on the 12th & 13th October 2017. Following on from the successful 2015 (Warsaw), 2013 (Copenhagen) and 2011 (London) Student & Emerging Conservator Conferences this conference allowed those at the start of their professional journeys the chance to discuss and explore the way ahead. The title of the 2017 conference was inspired by the Swiss educational philosopher Joachim Pestalozzi, whose credo of 'Learning with Head, Heart, and Hands' is also very applicable to the conservation profession.

Thursday 12 October, Session 1:

Head – Scientific Research / Conservation Science and its Application
How are scientific research and conservation science applied to the profession and how do they support conservation and restoration practice?

Friday 13 October, Session 2:

Hands – Conservation / Restoration in Practice
The development of practical and theoretical skills during a career and opportunities and perspectives on specialisation in conservation and in related fields

Friday 13 October, Session 3:

Heart – Passion and Communication in Conservation
How does one communicate with an employer, how does one work in a team, what are the responsibilities? Self-confidence for an emerging conservator - and the question of appropriate salary

To allow a wide, international community of speakers and participants to take part in the conference, the sessions were also available online as livestream broadcasts.

As with all of IIC’s Student & Emerging Conservator Conferences, this event aimed to offer an international perspective and to facilitate communication between student/emerging conservators on the one hand, and professionals active in the field of conservation, in national institutions and museums as well as in the private sector. The conference aimed to create a platform where the discussion of current needs in conservation and the relationship between expectations and reality can be discussed.

Plus studio visits, a social programme …
The themes discussed were supported by organised visits to some of Bern’s major conservation studios.

The presentations were held in the form of collaborative Web Broadcasts, which allowed an international community of speakers and participants to join the conference, either in person or online. There was also dialogue between the speakers and the audience, including those attending via the web. Conservation professionals active in the private sector as well as in museums/institutions discussed their experience and addressed the concerns raised, gave their views on the future of the profession, and the evolution of conservators’ responsibilities. Experienced conservators addressed the issues of presentation skills, portfolio creation and use and language skills, as well as getting started in a career and the international aspects of conservation work.

The conference provided an excellent platform for the exchange of ideas among those studying conservation, archaeology, art history, heritage studies and related disciplines, people who were soon to share the professional responsibility for a wide array of heritage-related issues.

The conference had the very generous support of Bern University of the Arts (HKB).