Our committee

Find out more about us

Phillipa McDonnell

Chair, Icon Gilding and Decorative Surfaces Group

I am an Architectural Paint Researcher and conservator with a background in art history.

My main area of interest is in the history and conservation of paints and wallpapers in the built environment – I love how the decorative surfaces of an interior can provide evidence about its use, and the people who used it.  
After receiving an AHRC funded masters and internship, I became employed by Lincoln Conservation (University of Lincoln) undertaking commercial and academic projects in this area, as well as interdisciplinary work in immersive digital environments. I’m currently also undertaking a part time PhD in 19th century paint, and am a member of the committee currently writing the EU standard for decorative finishes investigation (architectural paint research).

Elizabeth Cherry

Treasurer, Icon Gilding and Decorative Surfaces Group

I have been a member of the Committee for 2 and half years as treasurer.

At the time I joined the committee, I was working for The Granary Conservation Studio working on wood and furniture objects. Since then I have changed tack somewhat and now I'm a textiles conservator working for Janie Lightfoot Textiles LLP. I now work on a wide variety of textiles.

My original career was as a scientist with a BSc in Biology. Following a change in personal circumstances, I attend Lincoln University taking their Graduate Diploma in Conservation Studies and then the MA in Conservation of Historic Objects. 

I can honestly say that I don't regret it. Gold work for me means something slightly different but I like to hear and help with the organising of a different area of the Conservation field.

Eliza Doherty

Secretary, Icon Gilding and Decorative Surfaces Group

I developed an interest in gilded and decorative surfaces during my post-graduate diploma in Conservation Studies at City & Guilds.

I have since been fortunate to work within this specialism in a number of settings, including the Painted Hall in Greenwich, Knole Conservation Studio, the National Portrait Gallery, and private practice. I am currently working as a Frame Conservator at the Guildhall Art Gallery, while continuing to treat objects for private clients.

 I joined the committee in 2019 in order to become more involved in the wider conservation community, and to meet more people in my field.

Loredana Mannina

Social Media Officer, Icon Gilding and Decorative Surfaces Group

Loredana completed her postgraduate training in Italy and  became accredited in 2013 before moving to the UK, where she has worked at institutions including the V&A.

Loredana is an experienced practical conservator, equally adept at complex treatments of traditional objects and contemporary art. She has worked as senior conservator at a London-based private company, before taking up the Conservation Officer role within the UK Parliament’s Heritage Collections team in late 2019, moving from treatment conservation to preventive conservation.
Loredana is subject leader in Leather Conservation for the students of the MSc in Conservation at the Università di Torino, visiting lecturer at UCL and member of the advisory Committee Tainam Art Museum (Taiwan).

Alicia de la Serna Seanz

Committee Member, Icon Gilding and Decorative Surfaces Group

I have a BA in Fine Arts where I specialised in conservation of paintings. I then went on to get an MA and MSc in conservation at UCL partially funded by Anna Plowden's bursary.

After my studies, I was awarded an Icon internship at the Antiquities department of the Fitzwilliam Museum. During my career I have worked for national and international museums as well as private collectors, such as the British Museum and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha. Nowadays, I am working as a conservator at the Archives Relocation Programme at the Houses of Lords.

Nicola Shreeve

Committee Member

Nicola Shreeve originally trained at the London College of Furniture and has over 25 years’ experience as a self-employed furniture and picture frames restorer/conservator undertaking projects for private individuals and several significant historic houses.

A longstanding ambition to work as a specialist conservator in the museum and heritage sector led Nicola to study for a BA(Hons) Conservation of Wood, Stone, and Decorative Surfaces at City and Guilds of London Art School. Now studying for an MA, she is undertaking a technical investigation into, and conservation of, the post-Reformation polychrome alabaster monument to Sir Richard Pecksall (d.1571) in the Chapel of St Edmund, Westminster Abbey.

Carmen Vida

Committee member

After originally studying Archaeology, I went on to become an Objects conservator and graduated from UCL’s MA and MSc in 2013. I have always had a particular interest in decorative surfaces because of their complexity, and because they often involve both organic and inorganic materials and require complex decision making.

After graduation I worked, among others, for Cambridge Museums and the National Trust, where I was the Objects and Decorative Surfaces conservator at the then brand new Knole Conservation Studio. I am now Sculpture conservator at the V&A.

I am very interested in engagement and training and have worked at UCL in research projects as well as supervising and training MSc students in their practical work. I still lecture there on the conservation of painted and decorative surfaces.

Anastasia Gkouma

Web editor

Qualified objects conservator with a demonstrated history working in museums, non-profit organizations & private companies in UK & Greece. Upon completion of my undergraduate degree in Greece in 2015 I moved to the UK to continue my postgraduate studies at Cardiff University and currently pursuing a second MSc degree in Conservation of Cultural Heritage by University of West Attica.

Have been working as a freelance conservator since 2017 collaborating with institutions such as the National Trust, the Wiltshire & Swindon History Center, & the Brecknock Museum & Art Gallery and currently I am part of the Cliveden Conservation Team for almost 3 years working on decorative plaster & stone conservation. Passions of mine are sustainability and decorative surfaces as well as 3D documentation.