Extending impact through consultancy
Dr Nickel was a member of a Specialist Panel to assess research priorities for the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford and was consultant for the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Dr Pierson is Consultant to the V&A Asia Dept and Geffrye Museum, and is a trustee of the Bath Museum of East Asian Art. Timon Screech, Professor of the History of Art, worked on reordering the Mt Kunô Museum, Japan and through his research is helping to secure Japanese National Treasure status for its most famous object. Together with Dr Stacey Pierson he has supported European business development by teaching East Asian cultures to business executives.
Members of the Department use their expertise to address wider issues of heritage, conservation and education. Dr Nickel has reviewed nominations for World Heritage Sites status for the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), which has a special role as official adviser to UNESCO. Highly significant is the work of Elizabeth Moore, Professor in the Art and Archaeology of South East Asia, with UNESCO: as a member of the World Heritage Nomination Committee, she secured listing of the first site in Myanmar. She has also worked with the government of Dawei province to establish a conservation zone around the proposed deep-water port.
Wall-paintings and manuscript illustrations in Northeastern Africa
Dr Tribe's current research focuses on Christian wall-paintings and manuscript illustrations produced in Northeastern Africa from early Christianity to the eighteenth-century. In particular, she seeks to situate the compositions painted during that period in the Christianized areas of Egypt, Old Nubia (present-day Sudan) and Ethiopia within the wider trade and cultural networks of their time - the African-Mediterranean corridor, the Silk Route and the Red Sea trade. Her work assesses these paintings in relation to the visual production of politically and culturally dominant centres like Byzantium, Cairo or Indo-Portuguese Goa. She also seeks to contextualize these cycles of wall-paintings within their wider cultural and archaeological context. In order to do this, she has invited a team of archaeologists to work with her on the site of the thirteenth-century dynastic rock-cut church of Gannata Maryam and related churches.
Dr Tribe's Ethiopian research touches communities in rural areas through school programmes, promoting care and sense of ownership; her research has led to tourism and economic reconstruction; and at the request of the religious community she organized funding for a vernacular translation of the key medieval chronicle of the local religious community.
Novel theories challenge conventional understanding of Chinese art history
Dr Lukas Nickel’s archaeological fieldwork, art historical research and philological study have led to his proposition of novel theories that question the conventional wisdom surrounding the influences on, methods of production and historical-contextual details of key genres and elements of the Chinese art historical canon, including the famous Terracotta Warriors. Both in China and internationally, his theories have motivated debate, experimentation, and informed and shifted interpretation amongst those working in a range of cultural institutions as well as the general public. Read more...
Leading commemorations of 400th anniversary of Japan-British relations
Professor Screech initiated and co-chaired the commemorations of the 400th anniversary of Japan-British Relations in 2013-14, raising sponsorship from British Airways, Chugai Pharmaceutical and Mitsubishi among others. The commemorations comprised more than 200 events in Japan and UK. Professor Screech lectured extensively on the significance of this anniversary in the UK and Japan, including at the British Embassy in Japan, Barclays Bank (Japan), the Foreign Press Association (Tokyo) and the Houses of Parliament (Westminster) and numerous Japanese museums. He was also called to the Palace to brief the Crown Prince of Japan (in Japanese). He has been interviewed repeatedly, notably on the BBC Today Programme. At his instigation, the Lord Mayor of London hosted a one-day Seminar and Dinner in the Guildhall for 100 business leaders and VIPs, and a Matsuri (Japanese Festival) was held in Trafalgar Square attended by 80,000 members of the general public. In recognition of his efforts, Professor Screech was sponsored by Unilever to attend the British Business Awards gala dinner at the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (2013).
Summer School on Chinese objects in museums
In September 2017, Stacey Pierson and Louise Tythacott participated in the European Association of Chinese Studies (EACS) week-long Summer School ‘Hidden in Plain Sight: Materiality, Meaning and Accessibility of Chinese Objects in Local Collections’ at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter. Stacey lectured and organised a workshop on Chinese ceramics and gave a tour of the Chinese ceramics collections in the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in Swansea. Louise lectured on 'Summer Palace' objects in UK and French museums and organised a workshop on planning museum displays on China.
Stacey Pierson conducting a tour at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery (Image: Louise Tythacott)