Back to Work: Object in Focus Progress & Specialist Subjects! (Rafidah Bahari, ITP 2018, Malaysia)

Hello! I’m Rafidah Bahari, 2018 ITPer and Senior Conservator from Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia. My ITP departmental time is with the Middle East Department and the Conservation Department.

After a long, ten-day trip to my ITP UK Partner, Bristol Museums, now was the time to refocus on an upcoming ‘minor exhibition’ that will be launched on 9 August 2018: ITP Objects in Focus! During the 10 days out of London, a lots of things needed to be discuss and brainstormed among our object group  (Namrata Sarmah – Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Solomy Nabukalu – Kabale Museum, and me). We always updated ourselves and our group about the deadlines, which needed to be reached by last Friday (3 August). Social media and all the new technologies nowadays are very helpful.

Wooden Canopic Chest, 18th Dynasty, Egypt

Our object: wooden canopic chest, 18th dynasty, Egypt


Friday was a busy day where we had to complete our poster design and our label. Luckily we managed to do that, but our panel was still in progress.

Condition check with Miriam form Conservation Department

Condition check with Miriam

Also on Friday, we checked the condition of our object, the wooden canopic chest, with British Museum conservator Miriam. Unfortunately, we found that this object is very fragile – in a too fragile condition to be able to go on display for our final presentation day in the Clore. As a conservator, I understand the conditions and rules for this matter, and this object needs treatment and quarantine for the while. But it is ok: we can do it another way… we needed plan B!

Fragile surface at the lower part, some of the small particle was flaking

Oh no! Fragile surface with some flaking!

For our plan B, we decided to print all detailed images of the object and do a mock-up for the display on our presentation day, which will happen this Thursday 9 August!

Concentrated on tasks given

Resourceful group troubleshooting and creating plan B

After lunch on Friday, we had our first, very interesting, specialist subject sessions in various locations. I was selected to participate in the Staff Engagement session with Chris Lazenby (Head of Employee Engagement, Human Resources).

The aim of the session was to help us discover what employee engagement is and what sorts of impacts it can have on people and organisations. It also provided an introduction to how your role as a manager can influence how people engage with their work.