A day in the life: Kinnane Endowment Registration Intern Chloe Marston

12 Oct 2021
Chloe in a Collection storage area. Photo: Joe Ruckli

What have you been working on since joining the team?
Since joining the UQ Art Museum Registration team back in January, I have worked on a variety of projects ranging from exhibition installation to relocating collection storage. I commenced the year working on the installation of Occurrent Affair: ProppaNOW. Since then, I have also worked on the installation of Conflict in my Outlook_Don’t Be Evil. During both installations, I handled artworks, checked the conditions of each work, assisted with install, and processed the loan agreements.

An exciting new project I have been working on is going through the Collection Storeroom and consolidating each Solander Box [a box used to store archival materials] with works on paper stored inside. It has been a great privilege to work so closely with each artwork. The next major project for the Registration team is organising our next show for 2022. I have been working closely with Effie (Registrar, Loans & Acquisitions) to organise loan agreements and shipping requirements for the works coming in for our next show. 

What are you looking for when a work is returned?
When a work is returned from loan, one of the first things we do is check the condition. An artwork is at its most vulnerable when in transit, so it is important to check that it has returned to the gallery safely. Condition checking consists of looking closely at the work, usually with a light and magnifying glass, to see if there have been any changes to the condition. Common things we look for include cracks, losses, dirt marks, insect damage, scratches and more. Once the artwork is all checked off, we can return it back into the Collection Storeroom. 

Chloe and Assistant Registrar, Collections and Storage Sean Rafferty with a William Yang artwork recently returned from Queensland Art Gallery. Photo: Joe Ruckli

Has anything surprised you about the role?
Registration keeps you on your toes. I knew only little about Registration when starting my role and I have been non-stop learning since. Every day I am exposed to something new, whether it is an artwork arriving or leaving, discussing international shipping, or working in the storerooms. It has been a great surprise to see just how expansive our collection is, and to experience firsthand how artworks are stored, cared for, and treated.

What have been your favourite aspects of your internship so far?
One of my favourite aspects of the internship would have to be how much time I get to spend in the Collection Storeroom surrounded by art. I love the hands-on aspects of the role. Additionally, getting to see works I have organised loans for, in shows around Brisbane, will always be an exciting feeling. Knowing that I handed and packed the work that is now travelling around other galleries is an exciting aspect of the role. 

How will you be able to apply those skills in your career?
The skills I have learned during this internship are invaluable. I am constantly learning from the incredibly experienced Registration team. Working with Collection Management Systems, handling artworks, fabricating housing and frames for works are just to name a few of the skills I have learned. These hands-on skills will be applicable to any Registration role I may work in the future. This internship has taught me the role of the Registrar in practical ways that I know I will apply well into the future. 

Chloe and Registrar, Loans and Acquisitions Effie Skoufa-Klesnik ensuring a work by Gordon Hookey (Dundalli Banner, 2020) is kept safe while being moved for documentation photography. The banner was added to the UQ Art Collection in 2021. Visible in background: Richard Bell, Me, 2015. Photo: Joe Ruckli.