Duster Exhibitions & Workshops

Please get in touch if you would be interested in exhibiting the dusters at your event/venue. They are easily hung from washing line, pegs and hooks!  Opportunities to talk or run workshops are also welcome, please contact us

It’s this quick: Time lapse: set up, exhibit, take down!

Creative Processes in Activism
CCA Gallery, Brighton. 29th April 2023
Interactive talk including an invitation to “activate your dusters!” 629bcb2a-fa6a-4f3a-a36e-486407dd3324

Sweary Dusters in Collaboration with The Profanity Embroidery Group (PEG)
Twelve Taps Gin Bar, Whitstable: 15th – 28th February 2023
An extremely rude, tongue in cheek collaboration with PEG. 180 dusters embroidered by rebelious new contributors who responded to a one-off collaborative call to “swear it on a duster!” 
Hold Gallery, Ramsgate (POW Thanet): 4-6th March 2023



Cork Textiles Network  Ireland (Online) – May & June 2022
One of the good things come from the pandemic is the opportunity to share the dusters from a geographical distance. I gave a talk in May, followed by a workshop in June, introducing the wonderful members of the Cork Textile Network in Ireland to the project. We had a wonderful time manipulating our dusters in response to a number of prompts and drawing activities. I’m looking forward to catching up with them again in September to review their outcomes. 
Screenshot 2022-06-30 at 20.05.09


Everyday Creativity: Towards an International Research Network  – 13th June 
I presented a paper that explores the dusters as a lens for the investigation of everyday creativity through our innate knowledge of its cultural purpose, including Bennet’s idea of vital materiality and ‘thing power’ (2004) within which our humanness and their innateness can appear to overlap, and Barthes seminal work Mythologies (1957) as a theoretical code by which we read the social meaning of things and act out accordingly. 



Really Sayin’ Somethin’ Symposium – University of Brighton 20th May 2022
A fantastic event discussing socially engaged and participatory art, architecture and design. I gave a talk reflecting upon the role of stitch as a tool for socially engaged and participatory practice-based research, that enables innovative collaboration and dialogue. It was a privilege to share the knowledge gained through sharing the research process with others, and how these experiences have opened up new and exciting possibilities. A selection of dusters were also hung in the Brighton CCA gallery for the duration of the event. (Yes, the dusters and I did manage to present at two events in one day!) 

 B085E4E4-4296-4D96-A448-3234D194C9BD IMG_7704

Centre for Arts and Wellbeing Celebration – Phoenix Gallery 20th May 2022
As a member of this University of Brighton research network it was a pleasure to share the duster project with all who attended. 


Norfolk Makers Festival – 9th – 20th March 2022
It was wonderful to feature in this brilliant event, which included an exhibition of most of the dusters, a talk by myself, two workshops and time spent in the gallery meeting the wonderfully friendly people of Norwich. 

Textile Artist – Domestic Story Cloths – January 2022
Not strictly speaking a duster workshop, but I’ve been privileged to run a workshop entitled Domestic Story Cloths for the Textile Artist Stitch Club. Some wonderful outcomes, some of which I hope can join the collection. 

Bristol Girl Guides (online) November 2021
Following the success of the online workshop with Eastbourne Guides I was invited to work with Girl Guides and Rangers on Bristol – something only possible thanks to online as I’m based in the South Coast. The girls created some powerful and overwhelming positive dusters for their Craftivist badges. 

Sussex Prairies – July 2021
Such a treat to hang most of the collection in the beautiful gardens as part of their annual craft fair. They fluttered in the beautiful July sunshine like the most special kind of washing on the line. 


Eastbourne Girl Guides (online) – May/June 2021
Lockdown may prevent us from meeting in person but this did not stop a wonderful with Eastbourne Guides going ahead online. I was so impressed with how they grasped the idea of a duster as a means of holding their voices. The dusters they created go towards their Craftivist badges. 

Travail au Feminin – March – May 2021
We can’t travel due to Covid-19, but the dusters can, so a selection of dusters have joined a wonderful exhibition in Belgium. They’ve been strung across the space during workshops performances and an exhibition exploring the theme of ‘women’s work’. 

IMG_20210313_151657  IMG_20210428_144502 


Virtual Thread online workshop – April 2021
Taking the dusters online as we’re locked down in the UK. The advantage of this is that location no longer matters, so this workshop included participants from across the UK and as far a field as Canada! 

University of Brighton School of Art (Online) Research Week – 19th November 2020
Stitch-drawn explorations of the duster as an object that can materially manifest gendered experiences of domesticity. Participants were led through conscious and unconscious investigation of the duster through touch, smell and mark-making to ultimately embody the duster with stitches, words, marks and manipulations that enacted their own gendered experiences of domesticity.

Virtual Thread – Online Workshop 11th November 2020
Our first online adventure and a roaring success! Much stitching and nattering and putting the world to rights in a with a craftivist theme. 

Mothers Who Make Photoshoot – June 2020
An exciting opportunity featuring project curator Vanessa Marr, who transformed her kitchen into a duster world with help from photographer Viola and Mothers Who Make


Doing Autoethnography Conference, Tampa, Florida, USA (January 2020)
The first trip abroad for the duster collection with a conference paper exploring the autoethnographic potential of the duster project and a display/sharing of a selection of dusters from the project.


University of Brighton: MA Sequential Design and Illustration workshop (May, 2019)
It was great to be back where it all began, this time running a workshop with a lovely and enthusiastic bunch of students. We collectively explored the duster through a series of drawing prompts and then spent a happy afternoon stitching and sharing stories.


Embodied Drawing, 
Loughborough University – 11-12 July 2019
Workshop: How can gender be enacted through the material-semiotic practices of drawing?
I was honoured to be invited to run a drawing workshop as part of the annual TRACEY Drawing Journal conference. Each participant was provided with a pencil, paper, duster, needle and thread. I then presented the duster as an object that can materially manifest gendered experiences of domesticity, supported by spoken prompts to lead conscious and unconscious investigation of the duster through touch, smell and mark-making. The aim was that through practically experiencing this research method for themselves, the participants could begin to visually enact their own drawn response to gendered experiences of domesticity.


MA Sequential Design & Illustration, University of Brighton – May 2019
A fantastic workshop with almost 30 students from the successful MA Sequential Design & Illustration course. This is course that I graduated from in 2014, which inspired this project!


Domestic Violence Workshop with RISE Brighton- March 2019
Working with women recovering from domestic violence, contemplating experiences of domesticity through drawing and stitching. All content is confidential but some very poignant responses. Thank you for the bravery of those who took part.

University of Brighton, Creative Method’s Lab- 9th January 2109
An active presentation and workshop to all delegates at this academic symposium, which discussed new creative research methodologies. Participants were led through a series of drawing activities, which prompted creative and personal responses to the duster.

Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft – 4th-5th August 2018
A pop-up one weekend display of the entire collection of dusters run alongside a drop-in workshop. A wonderful two days of contemplative embroidery and inspiring discussions.

Sutton Libraries & Heritage – Sutton Library May – July 2018
Open drop-in workshops were run every fortnight inviting local residents to join the project. For the first time this involved several families stitching dusters, which opened up interesting conversations about who does what domestically at home and what the children expect of themselves in this context when they grow up.

Carnival of Invention – 15th June 2018
A practical workshop and ‘performing’ display of a selection of dusters from the collection accompanied the one-day conference focusing on arts and research for social change hosted by the University of Brighton.


Marks Make Meaning workshop – University of Brighton. March 2018
Workshop ‘Mediating the Materiality of the Duster’ run alongside the drawing exhibition Marks Make Meaning which depicted drawing practice in its many guises.

MA Inclusive Arts Practice ‘Bright Talk’. 18th October 2017.
Following the workshop with WOFFF I was invited to give a talk about my practice at one of the ‘Bright Talks’ organised by students from this MA course at the University of Brighton. It was an encouraging and inspiring evening.

vanessa marr pic 2

Brighton Embroiders Guild Talk & Workshop. 17th October 2017.
The dusters and I enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of the Brighton Embroiders Guild one Saturday, stitching together in the morning, then I gave a talk about the project and my practice in the afternoon. Most of the ladies were over 60, so it was interesting to get some domestic perspectives from this generation. Needless to say, their stitching skills were amazing!

Drawing & Phenomenology: Mediating the Materiality of the Duster. 19th – 20th September 2017.
I was delighted to be invited to run a practical workshop inviting drawing based additions and responses to the growing duster collection at the recent drawing and phenomenology conference at Loughborough University, which focused on tracing lived experience through drawing. I invited participants to consider and then to respond to the domestic theme by drawing with thread upon the duster, with the duster itself positioned as a domestic object for contemplation and focus. Drawings could be applied directly to the duster as an aide to meditating the materiality of the cloth but could also be drawn and then applied to the duster afterwards if people preferred. Conscious investigation of the duster through drawing remained a focus in each instance.

Women Over 50 in Film Festival. Workshop 16th September 2017.
The organiser of this event saw the exhibition earlier in the year at the University of Brighton, and promptly invited me to run a workshop during their annual film event in Brighton. We had a relaxed afternoon, stitching and talking with a lovely mix of women. It was particularly nice to meet Brenda, who posted me a duster to join the collection soon afterwards.

Reimagining Cinderella Conference at the University of Bedfordshire. 17th June 2017
I was delighted to be invited to deliver a paper at this conference, entitled: Cinderella: The Ultimate Domestic Narrative. A selection of dusters came with me too and were exhibited during the conference.

Duster Workshop with Just-Life Into-Art Group. 8th June 2017
An amazing and very humbling experience, running a workshop for those who are homeless or in temporary housing. A great selection of dusters were produced during the morning, with several following soon after.

P.O.V,  Project 78 Gallery, St Leonards, East Sussex. 25th March – 15th April 2017
A selection of dusters joined other artists who explore feminist perspectives at the Project 78 Gallery in St Leonards, East Sussex. The dusters were displayed in a new way – piled upon a plinth in the centre of the gallery with an invitation to handle and explore them. It was particularly interesting to see how they were handled, often smoothed down and tidied with the dusters turned like the pages of a book.



Storying the Self Symposium, C21 Writings, University of Brighton. 29th March 2017.
I was delighted to be invited to present a paper at this Symposium, which happily coincided with the exhibition of dusters in the same building. I spoke on a panel discussing materiality, in particular our relationship with cloth and the responses that evokes.


University of Brighton, Grand Parade building. 24th March – 13th April 2017
For three weeks the foyer in Grand Parade outside the cafe and Sallis Benney theatre was strung with nearly 100 dusters from the growing collection. The event was opened with an afternoon of tea & cake – the cake being made in the form of a duster! Feedback from the event has been incredibly encouraging and has opened up a host more opportunities for workshops and events. On the days I teach in the same building I’ve enjoyed overhearing and joining in conversations about the exhibition.

International Women’s Day – 8th March 2017. Workshop at the University of Brighton.
We celebrated International Women’s Day this year with a drop in workshop at the University of Brighton. I was joined by staff and students for a lovely days of cutting and stitching with wonderful conversation. It was great to get perspectives from a younger generation and to have several men joining us too.

Happily Ever After with the Kitchen Sink – Subversive Collage and Stitching at the University of Brighton (November 2016)
This workshop explored a new way of engaging people in stitching a duster. By introducing collage the results were more immediate and  participants felt less intimidated by the sewing. We used the traditional yellow duster as a canvas, stitching as glue and a collection of advertisements and other visual communication as inspiration to explore, subvert and recreate the messages that the media uses to influence the way women and girls are expected to behave.

img_8014 img_8023img_8020

Hove Musuem & Art Gallery, 9th December 2016 – May 2017, Many Ways to Tell a Story.
My original 7 dusters, which explored domestic and feminine perspectives of fairy tales, with accompanying poems and dolls stitched from dusters are on display as part if a larger exhibition exploring narrative with Fabula Collective , of which I am a founding member.


Object Book – Merton Abbey Mills, London (July 2016)
In July the dusters joined Chloe Spicer’s wonderful project Object Book, which explores all things bookish. The original dusters were designed to act as prelims for a larger exhibited piece and if we consider that books in their broadest form could be described as collections of information presented in sequence, then the collection of dusters as it stands today is very much in keeping with this theme.

The dusters were on display at Chloe’s studio in Merton Abbey Mills during July, with a successful drop-in workshop running on the final day. It was wonderful to meet some really interesting people and see a few more dusters started ready to join the collection.

IMG_7586      IMG_7536

Sussex Coast College – Hastings,East Sussex (June 2016)
The collection has now grown to the extent that we were able to string the dusters several times across the huge central atrium at Sussex Coast College. The dusters were very well received and a great talking point amongst students, visitors and staff. I also ran a drop in workshop and met yet more interesting people who has joined in stitching their perspectives onto a duster. We even made it into the local paper!


Eastbourne Soroptimists: Lecture and exhibition (March 2016)
I was invited t give a lecture about the project and to display the collection. This was followed by a lively Q&A and collective investigation of the duster collection.

IMG_7334 IMG_7335

De La Warr Pavilion – Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex (February/March 2016)
Coinciding with Mother’s Day and International Women’s Day the duster collection was hung in the North Stairs. Alongside this I was delighted to also hold a Stitching Salon workshop on February 6th and a Pecha Kucka talk about the project on March 8th.


Made in Hastings – Artist’s Collective (February 2016)
A selection of the dusters graced the window display of ‘Made in Hastings’, an artists collective shop based in Old Town Hastings. We were delighted to sell out of dusters packs within a week (although more were quickly supplied!)

lo res outside shop

Brighton Pop-Up – An Exhibition about Sexuality (July 2015)
The duster collection enjoyed an outing to Brighton as part of a Pre-Pride exhibition exploring sexuality. It was hung for two days and included a very successful drop in workshop where I was delighted to get some men stitching too!


2015-07-25 14.56.26

Home & Art: Creating, Performing and Researching Home at the Geffrye Museum, London (May 2015)
I was invited to speak about the duster project at this brilliant Seminar, organised by the Queen Mary University, London. The duster collection was hung throughout the event inviting much positive comment and discussion. More information can be seen in the blog post about the day.

Home & Art

Lady Fest – An International Women’s Day Event (8th March 2015)
We had a very exciting invitation to exhibit all the wonderful dusters at an International Women’s Day event being held near Hastings on Sunday 8th of March. The dusters looked great in the space, and were hung in under 2 hours – including chatting time! There was some really positive feedback and we gained a few more duster stitching recruits.

IMG_5458 IMG_5453IMG_5465IMG_5451

Lady Fest 08 March

Pop-Up Exhibition (February 2015) Studio 11, Eastbourne
A huge thank you to textile artist Christine Chester, founder of Studio 11 in Eastbourne, who has kindly offered the use of her studio space to hold the first exhibition of all the amazing dusters.

This short Pop-Up event was held on Saturday 28th February. So many of you joined us to admire the work, have a chat and enjoy a glass of fizz, it was a wonderful afternoon!

Pop -Up Duster Exhibition Film

Time lapse: set up, exhibit, take down!

IMG_5377 IMG_5376 IMG_5375 IMG_5367


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s