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!

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!



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 )

Google+ photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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


Connecting to %s