We’re a good way into the first year of our strategic corporate partnership with Europe’s largest conservation charity, National Trust, and have worked together on a few fun projects like the LUMIX roadshows, the Brancaster Activity Centre refit and Upton House’s Banking For Victory!! exhibition. Panasonic is working with the National Trust on a range of ventures like these to enhance the visitor experience and help the Trust to really bring its properties to life through innovative technologies. One such is the latest visitor showcase at former Tudor power house, The Vyne in Hampshire, where Panasonic projection, display and camera technologies are helping to share The Vyne’s conservation story and enliven the exhibition.
The precious 500-year-old stained-glass chapel windows at The Vyne are showing signs of pitting and corrosion caused by condensation, so Panasonic is supporting experts as they conserve this rare stained glass in a project that kicks off this week and is expected to last until the end of the year. These windows are rare Tudor stained glass that have survived the bombing raids of World War Two as well as Cromwell’s armies during the Civil War over 400 years ago, so it is crucial to try and preserve them.
This is National Trust’s most ambitious stained glass project ever, as they are removing 17 of the Chapel’s 18 windows so that they can be cleaned and re-fitted with state-of-the-art protective glazing. The glass is considered to be amongst the most beautiful and exceptional 16th century glass in Europe, famous for its jewel-like clarity and the finest example of Tudor glass in National Trust’s care. The conservators will wear Panasonic 4K wearable camera mounted at face level so that close up footage of their work can be captured on screen for the visitor exhibition. This footage will also be shared with other conservators involved in similar projects in the future as an example of best practice in stain glass restoration.
The Vyne’s stained glass exhibition is running while this conservation work is going on, offering visitors a chance to closely examine some of the glass before it is reinstated in the Chapel, to have a sneak peek at the conservators at work thanks to wearable camcorder footage that will be screened in the exhibition venue, and to learn more about the Vyne’s mysterious past. Wolf Hall fans will remember that Thomas Cromwell mentions The Vyne when he tells Mary Tudor that her father will be visiting Lord Sandys to see his 'handsome new gallery', and thanks to this summer’s exhibition, visitors can walk in Henry VIII’s footsteps and see the incredible detail on the Tudor wooden stalls – which are carved with heraldry, plant motifs and cherubs – and the ornately decorated Flemish floor tiles.
The exhibition features 4K photos of the property, taken on a LUMIX GH4, and two specially-made films detailing the restoration, which are being projected in The Vyne’s exhibition space via audio-visual technologies supplied by Panasonic. Staff at The Vyne are also using the LUMIX GH4 to capture both video and photo content in high-resolution for use across social channels as well as at the exhibition. “Using the Lumix GH4, I was really impressed with the still image quality that was produced,” said Helen Sanderson, House Steward at The Vyne. “The functions and layout of the camera are very intuitive – especially having never used a Panasonic model before. I photographed at 200 ISO because the photographs were for large 150cm x 60cm prints for our exhibition, and the quality was perfect. The GH4 is a really impressive camera that I would be very happy to use again.”
“This is a great example both of how National Trust is forging ahead with conservation supported by the latest technologies, and how Panasonic is supporting its corporate partner to do its valuable work,” said David Bonney, Advertising & Partnership Manager at Panasonic UK. “We have huge admiration for the National Trust and the fantastic work that it does, so are very excited to be able to help it with projects like this.”