Project Team

Dr Patricia Zakreski

Principal Investigator

Tricia is a Senior Lecturer in Victorian Literature and Culture at the University of Exeter. Her work explores the relationship between women, work, and art in the second half of the nineteenth century, with a particular focus on the interconnections between women’s authorship and the art of the everyday.  Her books include Representing Female Artistic Labour 1848-1890: Refining Work for the Middle-Class Woman, the co-edited collection Crafting the Woman Professional in the Long Nineteenth Century: Artistry and Industry in Britain, and the co-edited reader What is a Woman to Do? A Reader on Women, Work and Art, c. 1830-90. Her current work explores the relationship between authorship and the decorative arts in the second half of the nineteenth century. She is also co-editing a multi-volume reader on Art Education in the Long Nineteenth Century.

Dr Alex Gushurst-Moore

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Alexandra Gushurst-Moore is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Exeter, where she is focused on an exploration of collaborative art making as collective worldbuilding. Her doctoral thesis, titled “The Making of Modern Fantasy in the Visual Arts of England, c. 1850-1920”, was supervised by Professor Elizabeth Prettejohn at the University of York; she holds an MA(Hons) from the University of Edinburgh and an MSt from the University of Oxford. Her research interests include fantasy studies, worldbuilding, late Victorian art, and interdisciplinary studies of visual art and literature. Beyond her research, she has professional experience of and interest in British educational policy, the strategy and operation of HEIs, and the facilitation of inclusive and supportive research cultures.

Gudrun Bennett

Technical Assistant, Digital Humanities

Gudrun Bennett is a Technical Assistant in the University of Exeter Digital Humanities Lab where she supports the digitisation of a range of projects and the day to day running of the lab. As part of her role Gudrun has been building on the work of colleagues to edit the images of The Busy Bee collection in order to make them widely accessible online. She hopes that this will enable more people to discover and learn about this fascinating collection that she has really enjoyed working with.

Bronte Lyster

Technical Assistant (2021-23), Digital Humanities

Bronte was the Technical Assistant at the University of Exeter Digital Humanities Lab between 2021 and 2023 and was involved in the digitisation of The Busy Bee material, along with the student interns at the Lab. She enjoyed researching the authors and makers of The Busy Bee magazines and uncovering their life stories. She hopes everyone will enjoy looking at them as much as she did.

Richard Holding

Developer, Digital Humanities

Richard creates web resources for Digital Humanities research projects. His skills include the creation of websites for managing and displaying digital collections using Omeka and eXist-db, the design of websites and blogs in WordPress and the development of custom mapping solutions using the Leaflet JavaScript library. Richard also advises academics and professional services staff on Digital Humanities aspects of bid writing for funders including the AHRC, identifying appropriate technologies and contributing details of development requirements for Data Management Plans.

Emma Sherriff

Project Administrator

Emma Sherriff is the Project Administrator supporting the Art of Fiction team. Her role is integral to ensuring smooth operations, offering support to both colleagues and external participants taking part in Art of Fiction events. Emma’s responsibilities encompass financial processing, logistical coordination, and the arrangement of travel and accommodation for esteemed visitors and speakers. She also supports the organisation of creative workshops with project partners.

Emma’s passion for community and creative endeavours extends beyond her professional realm. She has served as a leader for the Devon Sews meetups, fostering a vibrant community of like-minded individuals who sew. Additionally, Emma is the visionary behind a sustainable sewing business, where her dedication to eco-friendly practices shines through.

For those intrigued by Emma’s diverse projects and endeavours, her creative blog serves as a portal into her world. Whether you are seeking inspiration or eager to join the thriving sewing community in Devon, Emma’s blog offers a glimpse into her boundless creativity and unwavering commitment to fostering connections through art and craft.


Ruth Broadway

Ruth Broadway is a multi-media artist. She has a Masters degree in Multi-disciplinary printmaking, which she combines with a background in stained glass, textiles, floristry and illustration to most recently create coats with stories hand-stitched into their linings and plumes of feathers printed with poetry, pattern and polite protest. Her work is a walk through the [deep dark] woods even when you find yourself in the city. She likes to discover forgotten and disregarded things; cast off either unnoticed or because of their insignificance, becoming an opportunity to tenderly work subtle interventions and try and tell their stories. She is inspired by traditional folkcraft and folktales, she embraces the prosaic nature of these techniques to create work that becomes love-letters to the passing of time, transformation and the fragility of life.