About Vanessa

Vanessa Marr BA (hons) PGCE QTLS MCSD MA

Vanessa is a graphic designer, artist and lecturer based in East Sussex. She has extensive design experience including working as an Art Editor for Dorling Kindersley (Penguin) and running her own design agency for 8 years. She is a fully qualified lecturer and has taught Art & Design for the past 8 years. She is a Senior Lecturer with the University of Brighton, teaching on  the BA Graphic Design for Digital Media and Illustration for Screen Arts courses and BA Fashion Communication. She is an External Examiner for Kingston University and continues to design and illustrate professionally.

Additionally Vanessa also often runs Book Art workshops with Sussex Book Arts at the Phoenix Gallery in Brighton and at the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne with the Blue Monkey Network.

Her academic work takes a critical view of the hidden language of domestic objects and common phrases, which she explores through drawing, design, handmade books, embroidery and poetry. Supported by an MA in Sequential Design and Illustration, her work is underpinned by visual design theory and process, yet embraces an intuitive and physical approach that facilitates self-authorship and her continuing exploration of narrative and sequence.

Find out more about Vanessa’s research:

She is particularly interested in the domestic and feminine origins of fairy tales and the role of these narratives in everyday life. Her recent embroidered objects reference traditional ‘women’s work’ whilst stimulating her imagination to write poetry through the reflective and contemplative thinking that hand sewing inspires.

She is a member of the Chartered Society of Designers, the Drawing Research Group at the University of Brighton, Blue Monkey Artists Network in Eastbourne, Sussex Book Arts, the UnFold textile group the and is also founding member of the Fabula Illustration & Narrative Collective. http://fabulacollective.com/ She regularly participates in creative collaborations, projects and exhibitions.

Vanessa is currently running a project inviting women to stitch their perspective on their relationship with domesticity onto a duster.
For more information visit: Women & Domesticity – What’s your Perspective?

‘Promises and Expectations’

A collection of poetry and embroidery exploring the domestic and feminine origins of fairy tales.

From September 2012 -14 Vanessa studied an MA in Sequential Design & Illustration with the University of Brighton, ultimately receiving a distinction award. The work she produced on this course, and the terrific support from her tutors George Hardie, Margaret Huber, Graham Rawle and Karen Morgan had a huge impact upon her personal practice. It developed from purely industry-focused graphic design, into a more imaginative practice that in turn feeds her professional work but also excites and fulfils her creatively and academically.

Fairy tales were originally told by women within a domestic context, they developed these narratives to make sense of the world around them. Through poetry she has imagined the personal motives for these stories, exploring the unacknowledged characteristics of principal female fairy tale characters. Through embroidery she is signifying the domestic expectations of women, both then and now.

Duster Collecton 2 Hand Embroidered Abstract Fairy Tale Narratives Hand bound poetry books open


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