The future of disaster preparedness

A conservator’s advice on being disaster prepared in an ever escalating climate emergency, and our role in preserving cultural heritage.
conservator cleaning a painting

The CEO of International Conservation Services (ICS) and president of the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Julian Bickersteth, spoke at the recent Regional Public Galleries Conference in Bega – a location not far from the recent epic Currowan fire on the far south coast of NSW, described as a ‘500,000-hectare inferno’.

His address to colleagues came only a week after ICS delivered 70 artworks to HOTA, Home of the Arts on the Gold Coast, a year after they had been submerged in waters and mud at the Lismore Regional Gallery (LRG). Over that same year, ICS had also completed conservation work on smoke-impacted paintings from Bundanon, which was surrounded by the Shoalhaven fires (NSW), which destroyed 312 homes.

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina