National Trust takes a heated approach to innovation in conservation

In late 2017, the National Trust of Australia (NSW) undertook a Preservation Needs Assessment at Woodford Academy and a number of pest related issues were identified for urgent attention. To carefully eradicate the infestation, the National Trust property will be the first heritage site in Australia to undergo a ‘non-toxic’ heat-based pest control treatment in February 2019.

To commence these works, the storage areas and archives were packed up and frozen to annihilate insect infestation. Conversely to treat the building, heat is used in an innovative treatment that involves progressively heating the interiors of the Blue Mountains’ oldest building to 55 degrees Celsius.

“The treatment targets pests such as borers and silverfish, both of which are notoriously damaging to historic buildings and extremely difficult to eradicate,” said Rebecca Pinchin, Manager, Collections at the National Trust (NSW).

The treatment taking place at Woodford Academy has provided inspiration for public events programs taking place on site. The first of these events is ‘DUST’, an exhibition which explores the productive and destructive forces that drive all life. Curated by Jacqueline Spedding, the exhibition will launch on 15 September and inspired by the academy as a place, its collection and history.

About ‘DUST’
Launching on 15 September and open to the public on 20 October and 17 November, ‘DUST’ is an artist-run project exploring the processes of collection care underway at the oldest colonial building in the Blue Mountains, the Woodford Academy.

‘DUST’ broadly engages with the idea of collection care while exploring the lives and activities of its agents. Acknowledging the ecosystem and life force of insects and small organisms, ‘DUST’ explores the human-insect relationship; the materiality of bodies, objects and environments; and the productive and destructive forces that drive all life.

The exhibition is curated by Jacqueline Spedding, a visual artist based in the Blue Mountains. Jacqueline is a trained ceramicist whose practice encompasses a wide range of materials and processes. She makes site-specific installations using found objects and organic material alongside unique ceramic objects.

‘DUST’ Museum Entry & Exhibition
Adults $6, Concession/Child (4-16yrs) $4, Family $15 (two adults, two children)
Guided tours: $2 per person (4+years)
Woodford Academy 90-92 Great Western Highway, Woodford
Email for more information.