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).

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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.

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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.

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Ffion Howells

Committee Member, Icon Gilding and Decorative Surfaces Group

I am an object conservator specialising in the conservation of gilt-wood and picture frames.

I have graduated from City & Guilds of London Art School in 2014 where my research focused on reducing the use of harmful solvents in the conservation of gilt-wood objects. Since then have worked as in private studios and for several London museums including Sir John Soane’s Museum, National Maritime Museum, the Wallace Collection and the V&A. During 2019, I will be taking on the role of Frame Conservator at the National Portrait Gallery. My interest and involvement in sustainable conservation ever increases.

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Ines Bravo

Web Editor, Icon Gilding and Decorative Surfaces Group

I have developed a strong interest in decorative surfaces when undertaking my Conservation Post-graduation Degree at City & Guilds of London Art School, during which I was awarded a scholarship by Anna Plowden Trust.

As from then, I have been developing my career as an objects conservator and specialising in the conservation of frames, furniture and gilded & decorative surfaces. So far I have worked both for the private sector and for museums such as the National Portrait Gallery, Knole House and Guildhall Art Gallery and Tate.

My interest in the conservation of gilded & decorative surfaces led me to join the committee in the hope of supporting the conservation community. 

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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).

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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.

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