Senior Lecturer, MA Conservation of Fine Art (Works of Art on Paper)
Jane Colbourne is a graduate from the Gateshead Programme (now Northumbria University) in the Conservation of Works of Art on Paper in 1987. She worked for several years for the Durban and Johannesburg Art Gallery’s in South Africa before joining the Tate Gallery in London. Since 1994 she has lectured in Paper Conservation at Northumbria University.
Other qualifications include Foundation Studies in Art and Design (Leicester University, 1980) BA Hons. in Fine Art (Belfast College of Art, 1983) and a PG-CUTL in University Teaching and Learning (1996), she is also a HEFC Moderator, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2009) and an Accredited Member of the Institute of Conservation (ICoN) since June 2001.
Her doctoral thesis focused on the working practices and dissemination of materials and techniques of a leading Edwardian painter Charles Henry Sims R.A (1874-1928) who represents a neglected body of British artists who were responding to and assimilating certain new tendencies within early modernism yet at the same time conscious and respectful of traditional practices and training methods. The study makes consistent reference to his extensive studio archive bequeathed to the Department in 2001, whose existence provided a unique opportunity in mapping Sims’ own informal working notes and observations, against instrumental and technical analyses performed on selected case studies.
The significance of this specific period in relation to the progression of new materials, techniques and the role instruction manuals and teaching played in developing Sims stylistic and at times thematic approach to practice are also discussed. Of particular interest are those which focus on watercolour and egg tempera techniques, media which perfectly suited Sims temperament and arguably featured in and formed his best works.
The research also compares Sims working practices with that of his better known contemporaries by cross- referencing reports held in national and international collections with hitherto unseen material. As a consequence the contents has a much wider application beyond the field of conservation for the general light it throws on early 20th century artist inheritance and intent.
In addition to teaching and research Jane regularly delivers professional workshops both home and abroad on various topics related to conservation and the history of artist materials. She has a longstanding interest in Japanese handmade paper, scroll-mounting and associated methods and materials.