Mark Searle
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What really stayed with you from your time at the Art School?

The emphasis on craft skills was challenging but highly rewarding. I found the skills I picked up in life-drawing vital in teaching me how to really look and critically assess an object, which I have consistently needed in conservation.

What did you work on during your time at the Art School that has proved valuable in your professional career?

The conservation course at City & Guilds allows you to treat a wide range of objects, composed of many different materials. Though I have, since graduating, specialised in gilding and frame conservation, I still use many of the skills I acquired in other areas, including the treatment and analysis of stone and painted wooden objects.

What are you up to now?

Since graduating I have worked in private practice, in a conservation studio specialising in treating gilt and lacquer objects. Having then completed a frame conservation internship at the Guildhall Art Gallery, I worked for National Maritime Museum as a frame conservator and at the Houses of Parliament to make new frames for works on paper. Last year I worked at a new National Trust conservation studio at Knole. I am presently a frame conservator at Tate and the Guildhall Art Gallery. I also supervise conservation students on a frame conservation work placement at the Palace of Westminster.

 

IMAGE

  1. Mark¬†Searle water gilding replacement ornament on the frame for the painting ‘Seascape’ by Peter Graham. This treatment was completed for the internal exhibition ‘Victorian Decoded’ in 2016-17.
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