Sandra’s journey into the world of art restoration began with a childhood fascination with the intricate details of Goya’s paintings and the meaning behind each brush mark. Growing up in Errenteria, a small Basque town in the north of Spain, she was surrounded by rich cultural heritage, which fuelled her desire to understand and protect it. This passion led her to pursue formal training in art restoration, where she honed her skills under the guidance of her university tutors and several placements in both local and national museums, private conservation studios and government institutions.

Soon after she finished her Masters studies at Northumbria University following a National Library of Spain placement Sandra was informed of her first award “I remember the call I received that day from the Fine Arts Museum of Bilbao informing me that I had been awarded the prestigious Iberdrola Fellowship, as if it was yesterday” added Sandra.

“The ceremony itself was staged on July 5th 2016, at the Iberdrola Foundation in Madrid – a prestigious venue normally reserved for extremely important state meetings. Receiving such an award is a moment that ignites a whirlwind of emotions, gratitude, and pride crashing through every fibre of one’s being. It’s a culmination of hard work, dedication, and passion converging into a single, unforgettable moment. The award was presented by the royal family, and meeting the king and queen of Spain was a pinnacle of honour, where nerves mingle with pride. It’s a fleeting but unforgettable encounter, etched in memory as a recognition for achievement, dedication, and professionalism”.

And proud again in 2018, again being presented by the King of Spain at the Zarzuela Palace, Madrid 2018 (Copyright fundacion Iberdrola)

This award offered Sandra a one-year Fellowship at the Fine Arts Museum of Bilbao and her efforts did not go unnoticed there either, as soon after she was also offered a short placement at the prestigious Prado Museum in Madrid and with it a second Iberdrola Foundation Fellowship. “I learned from the best interdisciplinary team I have ever met in my career as a conservator. The finest example of the transformative power of art and the profound impact that one individual can have on the world around them” commented Sandra.