MEET THE TEAM

CAITLIN SOUTHWICK

FOUNDER

   Caitlin is a stone conservator at the University of Amsterdam Master in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage program specializing d stone. Originally from the United States, she moved to Italy seven years ago to begin studying conservation in Florence and Carrara, specializing in frescos and stone. Caitlin then spent a year at Cardiff University before moving to Amsterdam to finish her Masters.

Over the course of her studies, Caitlin became increasingly aware of the environmental impact of our profession. Caitlin chose to study conservation because she is passionate about art and history and wants future generations to experience that awe-inspiring moment of walking into l’Accademia and seeing the David for the first time, or feel the chill in their spine when they see Van Gogh’s Bedroom. Caitlin believes there is a parallel between conserving cultural heritage and conserving the planet, and wants to bring that into our profession. Caitlin started SiC in 2016 as a way to promote sustainable practices and bring awareness to the importance of ecological consciousness into conservation.

Caitlin is also a professional member of the AIC Sustainability Committee and the secretary of the ICOM Sustainability Working Group.

ARIANA MCSWEENEY

RESEARCHER AND SOCIAL MEDIA

   Ariana is an architectural conservator based in Boston, Massachusetts. She first became interested in the connection between sustainability and cultural heritage conservation when she helped build an energy-efficient, traditional-style cob house in Oxfordshire, England. Several years later she interned at a preservation advocacy organization and carried out conditions survey work at a Victorian mansion in Boston before enrolling in the University of Edinburgh's Architectural Conservation master's program. During her studies she developed special interests in materials science and analyzing the historic development of buildings. She wrote her dissertation on Château de Gudanes in southern France, where she was struck by the way the building's traditional design prevented any need for air conditioning. The experience inspired Ariana to seek funding for a PhD on the use of energy-efficient vernacular building techniques in new builds. 

Since completing her master's degree, Ariana has worked for the World Monuments Fund, written a conservation management plan for Walter Gropius's Massachusetts home, and trained as an interior finishes conservator. She is currently a Preservation Craftsperson at the historic Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and she serves as a board member for the Boston Preservation Alliance's Young Advisors.

MARIANA ESCAMILLA

RESEARCHER

   Mariana is currently a Master's student at the Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences (CICS) in Germany, where she also obtained a BA in paintings, polychrome sculpture and modern art conservation.

 

Her thesis project focuses on the suitability testing of five, so-called green solvents for their use in paintings conservation, specifically for the removal and application of varnish on oil based paintings.

Because of this project, Mariana realised how important the research on sustainable practices in the field of conservation is. By joining SiC she hopes to help raise awareness and further enhance investigation efforts and data related to sustainability.

MARIANA DI GIACOMO

SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR

   Mariana is a paleontologist working on the preservation of fossil bones.

When Mariana was 7 years old, the movie Jurassic Park premiered in her small country, Uruguay. Everyone in the world was amazed by such an innovative film. Mariana's grandmother started buying dinosaur magazines for her brother, but it was Mariana who started reading them all, and became obsessed. ​

While working as a paleontologist at the amazing Arroyo del Vizcaíno site, Mariana realized her future was in the care and preservation of fossils in museums. Mariana wants future fossil-obsessed kids to see the gigantic skeletons that made her fall in love with the discipline, and for that to happen, those bones have to last many, many years.

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Nowadays, Mariana is doing her PhD at the University of Delaware, in the Preservation Studies Program. She is also a fellow at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, where she is working on her dissertation.

ZOE BEDFORD

GRAPHICS COORDINATOR AND WEBSITE

   Zoe is a Master's student at the University of Amsterdam, studying Glass, Ceramics, and Stone conservation. She originally did her Bachelors in Glass and Ceramics at the University of Sunderland, before moving to Amsterdam. Her previous experiences involve being an artist assistant to numerous glass artists, and Stained Glass conservation at the Scottish Glass Studio based in Glasgow.

Her BA (Hons) dissertation discussed how a broken artwork is viewed in comparison to a whole one, and used this to create the final artworks for the degree.

JULIA WAGNER

CONTENT COORDIATOR AND NEWSLETTER

   Julia Johanna Wagner is a Masters student at the University of Amsterdam studying conservation of ceramics, glass and stone. Originally from Austria, she has lived and worked in Australia before moving to the Netherlands for studying conservation.

 

Her BA thesis in Japanese studies at the University of Vienna (Austria) focused on cultural exchange through porcelain trade between Japan and the Netherlands via the VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) from the beginning of the 17th to mid 19th century. She is particularly interested in different approaches to conservation and restoration in different cultures.

 

She became aware of SiC through their student ambassadors and is keen on being part of spreading environmentally friendly practice in conservation.

BIANCA GONÇALVES

RESEARCHER AND SOCIAL MEDIA

   Bianca is currently working in São Paulo, Brazil in the MASP (Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand) as a paintings conservator. Originally from Brazil, she moved to Portugal and earned a bachelor’s degree in Conservation and Restoration at the Instituto Politécnico de Tomar. She then spent a year doing internships and working on mural paintings in Portugal before moving to Brussels to complete her education at ENSAV La Cambre. She finished her master’s’ degree in the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage program in July 2018, specializing in paintings.  

 

For her MA thesis project, she studied less toxic approaches to the cleaning of acrylic paintings. She evaluated the environmental impact of four types of gels (Pemulen TR-2, Velvesil Plus, Agar and Nanorestore gel) that show less toxic effects on nature and health, and she also assessed the potential of these systems for the cleaning of acrylic surfaces.

 

Her interest in environmental causes started when she was fifteen and realized that a big part of the Amazon rainforest was being destroyed for cattle production. Since then she has become a vegetarian and volunteered with different NGOs. Now, she thinks it is time to connect these ideas with conservation.

FRANCESCA CARDINALI

WEB CONTENT AND RESEARCHER

   Francesca completed her master’s degree in “Science and technology for the conservation and the restoration of Cultural Heritage “ at the University of Perugia (Italy) in 2010.  She followed specializing herself working as researcher toward the promotion of a green and sustainable methodology based on biomass-derived inhibitor systems, suitable for addressing conservation issues of salt-weathered sites. She is continuing to support this study and new ones, building up international connections and promoting multidisciplinary exchanges to better highlight the vital role of Cultural Heritage within the sustainable development process.

Meanwhile, she also worked closely with several professionals involved in science labs, museums and restoration/conservation activities to achieve the best possible knowledge of materials, in order to acquire useful skills for a better approaching and management of them.

She is an open-minded person and she is always looking for new researches and potential projects to develop.

SARAH E. BRAUN

SUSTAINABILITY TOOLKITS

   Sarah is a creative marketing, conservation, and socioeconomic development consultant, originally from Illinois, and now a Wisconsin resident. Her educational and professional experiences over the past ten years have taken her to work and live in Florence (Italy), Garmisch (Germany), Lugano (Switzerland), and Paris (France).

 

She has worked as a consultant with the UNESCO Sustainable Tourism Programme and has partnered with NGO organizations in Rabat (Morocco) and Rome (Italy), focusing on the economic influence of tangible and intangible heritage and its vital role in socioeconomic development.

She focuses on blending together the best of creative minds from different disciplines in her network to find best-practice and new solutions with sustainability always at the foundation. Her work spans the heritage preservation, conservation, and sustainable tourism sectors, as well as research, marketing, and promotion of renewable, eco-friendly materials.

Sarah studied art conservation and restoration in Florence, Italy and Lugano, Switzerland, and received her Master’s Degree from the American University of Paris in Sustainable Business Management.

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ABOUT US

Sustainability in Conservation is an online network providing resources and information about environmentally responsible practices  in art conservation and related fields. Within a practice that produces so much waste, we hope to inspire collaboration and awareness to make cultural heritage a more sustainabile profession. 

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