Participant bios

The Domestic Academics are a group of 23 women Lecturers, Readers and PhD researchers with caring responsibilities. Each of us has told the story of how the COVID-19 pandemic, with it’s lockdowns, school closures and move to home-based online learning, has impacted our lives, both domestically and in our various UK based universities.

You can interact with our digital quilt here

Principal Investigator: Vanessa Marr

Vanessa is a mother for four, an artist, designer and principal lecturer at the University of Brighton, where she is also course leader for Design for Digital Media and the academic lead for employability. Her academic work takes a critical view of the hidden language of objects and fairy tales, which she explores primarily through embroidery and creative writing. 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. Her PhD explores alternative practices of autoethnography through phenomenological engagement with a dusting cloth through stitch.

She is particularly interested in the domestic and feminine origins of fairy tales and the opportunity that these narratives hold to reflect the lives of modern women. Her ongoing practice-based collaborative arts project ‘Women & Domesticity – What’s your Perspective?’ references traditional ‘women’s work’ and invites people to embroider their own perspectives and experiences of domesticity onto a duster. The growing collection includes over 100 contributions. It has been exhibited and presented widely in academic, community and arts contexts. She is also a member of a number of academic research and creative arts groups.



Dr. Jess Moriarty is a principal lecturer at the University of Brighton where she is course leader on the Creative Writing MA. She has published widely on autoethnography and pedagogy in writing practice. Jess works on engaging students in community projects and using innovative and personal writing to challenge traditional academic discourse. She is focused on developing her student’s confidence with their creativity and writing.

Katy Beinart

Catherine Aicken

Jessie Munton

Jade levell

Charlotte Nicklas

Louisa Taylor

Pina Santoro is an artist who’s practice is mainly ceramics and sculpture based, However still maintains her links with painting, print, textiles, sound/music and performance installations.
Her concerns lie in culture, identity, ritual, placement and displacement through Folk Art practices.
In recent works she created a character to perform at traditional festivals in the UK and Sicily addressing immigrant displacement and questioning stereotypes and gender equality.
In 2011, Pina was awarded honours from the Louvre, Paris for her ‘Petit Dammes” collages.
She is founder of ICAP project, receiving Arts Council awards and funding in 2014,15,16 & 17.
Teaching includes Kettles Yard, University of Cambridge, Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge, University of Bournemouth, Cambridge Schools, Vivacity Peterborough, City College Peterborough /Peterborough schools.

Dr Harriet Atkinson a researcher at University of Brighton’s Centre for Design History, working on the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project ‘“The Materialisation of Persuasion”: Modernist Exhibitions in Britain for Propaganda and Resistance, 1933 to 1953’, which will culminate in a monograph, a documentary film and a podcast series, among other things.

Elin Karlsson

Andrea Couture

Elizabeth (Libby) Blundell

Libby is a mother, a UK based Architect, Senior Lecturer, and the First Year Coordinator of the BA Architecture Course at the University of Brighton. Having spent several years working simultaneously in architectural practices specialising in healthcare design and teaching across subject areas, Libby is now focusing on research and teaching at the intersection of architecture and medicine. Current research draws from a feminist reading of the body and this is being explored through participatory interdisciplinary projects. Collaborating for several years with the department of midwifery Libby is now looking to expand interdisciplinary teaching to those who hold power in clinical space.

Fred P Lawrence
UK artist and mother, Fred P Lawrence has an interdisciplinary practice using performance drawing and video. Xir current research explores an auto-ethnographic approach to an expanded practice drawing and writing reflecting on xir lived experiences of maternal subjectivity. Lawrence is a London art school graduate and has exhibited both nationally and internationally and her work is held in public and private collections.

Chloe Van der Kindere

Mylinh Nguyen

Professor Louise Haywood (University of Cambridge) has published widely on medieval Iberian studies. Research is focused on identity, the body, authority, truancy and humour. She is a founding member of Women in Spanish & Portuguese Studies and Tactics and Praxis. She is also a mum and an aspiring mixed-media textile artist.

Lois Blackwell

Sally Sutherland is a mother of two, an AHRC funded practice-based doctoral design researcher, lecturer and co-founder of the Radical Methodologies Research and Enterprise group at the University of Brighton. Sally is interested in how knowledge and experience that comes with design practice can be brought into design and health research.

Celeste van der Linde

Karen Morgan

Emanuela Orlando

(We are all busy multi-tasking, so the full bios will be available soon)