Preserving wall paintings: from English churches to Egyptian tombs
From our earliest cultures to the present day, we have decorated the places that we inhabit, in both life and death, with wall paintings. Decorated surfaces are found in all parts of the world, from mountain-top monasteries to remote desert caves. They have been used by rulers to immortalise their authority, by the wealthy to display their opulence, and by the less wealthy to demonstrate social aspiration. Pagan cults and religions have developed imagery for decorating the walls of tombs, churches and temples. The human desire to decorate houses with painting has left glimpses of how people like us lived thousands of years ago. Stephen Rickerby is a conservator who has worked on wall paintings around the world. In this illustrated presentation, he will talk about the challenges of preserving paintings in locations as diverse as English churches, Buddhist caves in China, rock-cut churches in Ethiopia, and Egyptian tombs.
Stephen Rickerby received his MA in art history from Aberdeen University before undertaking the Courtauld Institute of Art/Getty Conservation Institute Postgraduate Diploma in the Conservation of Wall Painting (1985-88). He has since worked extensively on wall painting projects in the UK and internationally. He now runs his own London-based wall conservation practice called Rickerby & Shekede.
Lisa Shekede is firmly established as a conservator whose career has involved both independent projects and work as a consultant to the Courtauld Institute of Art and the Getty Conservation Institute. She has worked extensively overseas. She has worked on domestic wall paintings in the UK, and on long term projects in Bhutan, China and Ethiopia. She co-supervises Courtauld Institute fieldwork sites in Cyprus, Malta and China, and has served on the International Advisory Board of the Courtauld Institute’s MA in the Conservation of Wall Painting.
Stephen and Lisa now run their own London-based wall conservation practice called Rickerby & Shekede.
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