01 Aug 2022

Call-out for early career sculpture conservators for event at Watts Gallery


Watts Gallery

Watts Gallery Trust is an independent charity established in 1904 to manage the legacy of George Frederic Watts, one of the leading artists of the nineteenth century.  

Today, Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village (WGAV), consisting of Limnerslease, the former home of artists G F Watts and Mary Seton Watts, the Grade I listed Watts Cemetery Chapel, the Pottery Building that formerly housed the Compton Potters Arts Guild, Watts Gallery and our thriving Shop and Tea Shop, is a leading regional visitor attraction.  



A Fragmented Legacy: G F Watts and Sculpture (28 June - 2 October)

George Frederic Watts is best-known today as a painter – as the portraitist to the nation and the creator of large-scale Symbolist pictures. Despite this reputation from the 1860s until his death in 1904, Watts dedicated significant time to sculpture. Inspired by the fragmentary sculpture collection at WGAV – all of which was saved from the artist's London and Surrey studios – this exhibition is the first to explore George's experimental, obsessive, and even destructive ways of working.   

Featuring an idiosyncratic assortment of anatomical models, écorché and sculptural studies, the exhibition offers unique insights into George's creative studio practice. Brought together with oils and works on paper, this exhibition considers how and why the artist moved seamlessly between different materials and across different dimensions. A Fragmented Legacy: G F Watts & Sculpture illuminates George's innovative and often overlooked work as one of the leading painter-sculptors of the Victorian era. 


The Opportunity

Running alongside the A Fragmented Legacy exhibition is a programme of events that engage audiences with the making, exhibiting and conserving of sculpture.  

We would like to invite early career conservators, specialising in sculpture, to propose projects for a five minute presentation as part of a PechaKucha style* event on Tuesday 13 September, as follows: 


Discussions on Sculpture: Caring for Sculpture 

Tuesday 13 September 

6 - 7.30pm 

Historic Galleries, Watts Gallery - Artists’ Village 


Chair: Tessa Jackson ACR, Founder, Jackson Sculpture Conservation Ltd 

Host: Emma Coburn ACR, Collections Manager, Watts Gallery 


Emma Coburn will give an introduction to care for sculpture in the Watts Gallery Collection, with specific reference to getting the items ready for A Fragmented Legacy. Tessa Jackson will give an overview of caring for sculpture in a range of scenarios, and will chair the PechaKucha with five selected early-career conservators each presenting a project for 5 minutes. This will be followed by a panel discussion and the event will finish with questions from the audience.  

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to present a sculptural project to a public and industry audience, meet and network with other professionals in the field, and have a guided tour of the A Fragmented Legacy exhibition with Emma Coburn and Giles Corby from London Sculpture Studio. Travel costs will be reimbursed by WGAV. 


* PechaKucha is a specific style of presentation that originated in Japan that entails presentations of 20 slides, displayed for 20 seconds each, for a total presentation time of 6 minutes and forty seconds. Ours won’t be quite so strict, but is based on this idea. 


How to apply

Please email [email protected] before 10am on Monday 15 August 2022, including the following: 

  • A short (max 300 words) description of a recent sculptural conservation project you would like to talk about at the event, and what you would like to highlight in particular 
  • Maximum 6 images of the project (or a website link) 
  • An up to date CV 
  • Link to your website, and/or weblinks to other relevant projects you have been involved in