Personal profile

Research interests

Vanessa is Principal Lecturer and Course Leader for BA Design for Digital Media, which is based at the University of Brighton's Edward Street campus. She is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts and the Academic Lead for Employability in the School of Art and Media. She sits on the school Equality and Diversity Committee, leading the Gender strand, and is a member of the school Ethics Panel.

With a professional background in graphic design, she has extensive design experience within both marketing and publishing environments, creating and directing work for both print and moving image. She worked as an Art Editor for Dorling Kindersley and also ran her own design agency for over 10 years.

Her academic work is practice-based, creative and autoethnographic. Vanessa takes a critical view of the language of common-place domestic objects and popular narratives, in particular fairy tales, which she explores primarily through embroidery, creative writing and book arts. Her research is underpinned by visual design-theory and process whilst embracing an intuitive and practice-based approach that facilitates self-authorship and her continuing exploration of narrative and sequence.

Vanessa originated the sucessful Women & Domesticity – What’s your Perspective collaborative arts project in 2014, which asks members of the public to embroider their domestic experiences upon a duster. It is regularly exhibited, transforming the duster from a cloth kept under the sink into a powerful collection of voices.  The growing collection includes hundreds of individual contributions. It has been exhibited in art spaces such as the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea and Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft; at academic symposiums and conferences at the Universities in Loughborough, Bedford, Brighton and the Geffreye Museum with Queen Mary University; and in Libraries, Colleges and other Art Spaces. It has also been presented exhibited and internationally, in both Europe and the US. 

Vanessa has published widely on feminist concerns including invisible domestic and caring labour, the relationship between motherhood and academia, creative research methods, and the role of stitching as a socially enaged practice. She is also completing a PhD with the University of Brighton entitled: Enticing and enacting visual domestic narratives by drawing with thread upon a duster: An autoethnographic study.

Research interests

Creative Research Methods, Drawing and Phenomenology, Women and Stitch, Autoethnography, Narrative and Sequence, Fairytales, Feminism, Practice-Based Research, Social Change, Activisim, Visual Communication.

Education/Academic qualification

Master, Sequential Design & Illustration , University of Brighton

Sept 2012Sept 2014

Award Date: 31 Aug 2014

Master, Post Graduate Certificate of Education , University of Suffolk

Sept 2009Jul 2011

Award Date: 1 Jul 2011

Bachelor, BA (Hons) Art & Design (Graphic Design), Anglia Polytechnic University

Sept 1997Jul 2000

Award Date: 1 Jul 2000

External positions

External Examiner, Cambridge Education Group - ONCAMPUS

Sept 2017Sept 2020

External Examiner, Ravensborne University London

Sept 2017Sept 2020


  • NX Arts in general
  • visual methods
  • NC Drawing Design Illustration
  • Drawing Research
  • N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
  • Textiles, Sculpture, Paper, Photography, Film
  • NE Print media
  • graphic design


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