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Carol Peacock, Conservation Training Bursary 2011/12

In the autumn of 2011 Carol started the one-year fulltime MA course in Conservation at Camberwell. She was also offered and accepted a permanent position to train as a conservator of Chinese Paintings at the British Museum, following an internship there. She says “both the Museum and Camberwell College were very supportive of what was an incredible training opportunity ... for the past year I have worked part-time at the Museum to enable me to complete the MA course without disruption”.

“Although the year was therefore extremely busy, the practical work I undertook at the Museum fed directly into my research subject for the course; equally, pursuing my research through the MA course afforded me the time to read widely in the area that will form the basis of my future career. The combination worked very well and I remain deeply grateful for the Anna Plowden Trust’s encouragement and support when I told them of this unique work opportunity.“

Carol was able to put the training she received at Camberwell to practical use in the British Museum during the year. And “in the second half of the year, I was able to combine my work even more closely... as for my MA Major Project I chose to research the complexities of Chinese scroll mounting as a conservation strategy. This meant that I could actually complete the practical part of my project within the Museum and make use of the Hirayama Studio’s specialist facilities as well as undertake the work under the discerning eye of my Master and Teacher, Qiu Jin Xian – an aspect of the mounting process I was keen to draw attention to in comparison to Western modes of training”.

“Combining the MA course with working at the British Museum was an intensive, yet incredibly productive year of training. I was delighted at how I was able to fuse my work from one with the other and in doing so, was given a new perspective on both traditional Eastern and modern Western approaches to conservation.... The MA course has opened up many opportunities and new contacts to me and will ensure that although I am now pursuing a specialised route of conservation, I still have a firm base in the wider conservation world.”

Carol became a Trustee of the Anna Plowden Trust in 2014; she continues to work at the British Museum.