In the Press again!

I’m very excited to say that an article I wrote about my duster project has been published in Hastings Independent Press this week! There are several other things in the pipeline for this project, so watch this space.


Here is the full article:

Women & Domesticity – what’s your perspective?

A collection of hand embroidered dusters collectively responding to the theme of women and domesticity.

What’s your opinion on the relationship between women and domesticity? Do you love it, loath it, resent it, or embrace it? Is it an out-dated expectation or a predictable reality? What does it mean to you personally?

Vanessa Marr, a local lecturer, artist and designer who runs the Graphic Communication Foundation Degree at Sussex Coast College in Hastings, is seeking an answer to this question by asking women to embroider their own views and experiences onto a duster. The response has been amazing and the collection so far features over 70 pieces. Participation was invited not just from artists but also from anyone who had an opinion. Contributions range from poetic quotes, to resentful statements, to images, to fond memories.

Vanessa selected traditional dusters as a metaphor for domesticity because they are mundane (like most domestic tasks), yet visually appealing in their brilliant bright yellow. Strung together like flags, they proclaim a multitude of opinions, stitched with red thread to represent femininity.

So far the collection has been exhibited twice; firstly in February at Studio 11 in Eastbourne courtesy of textile artist Christine Chester, and secondly at Rock House as part of the Lady Fest event for International Women’s Day. Subject to funding Vanessa hopes that this is just the start and is seeking opportunities to grow the collection and exhibit it for longer.

Vanessa‘s recent work explores the meanings attached to familiar objects and common language, informed by her background in graphic design. The ‘Women & Domesticity’ duster project started in response to her now completed MA in Sequential Design & Illustration with the University of Brighton. She wrote poetry and embroidered a collection of dusters commenting upon the expectations of women within a domestic environment. Popular fairy tale phrases were juxtaposed against definitions of domesticity, brutality, protectiveness and femininity, questioning the promises told through fairy tales to women and girls. Determined that the work didn’t end there, and keen to include other perspectives, the idea for this collaborative project was launched.

Contributions are still welcome, for more information contact Vanessa Marr


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