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My name is Vanessa Brassey

I am a figurative painter working in acrylic inks and oils on canvas, glass and metal. I aim to depict my local world in a way that resists simple naturalism. Beguiling the viewer with landscapes and portraits that resonate with emotional complexity and possibility. 


Recent paintings completed while studying contemporary portraiture at The Art Academy London, have been recognised in the finals of Women in Art (2023), British Contemporary Art (2024), long listed for The Royal Institute of Watercolour (2022), and the Jackson Painting Prize (2022), and exhibited in ING Discerning Eye Mall Galleries (2023). I often exhibit around Hampstead Heath.

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Papers & Talks

Brassey, V. (2024) Wollheim Centenary film (in progress)r

Brassey, V. (2024) Wollheim on Art (conference presentation, Oxford)r

Brassey, V. (2023) Time for Beauty (conference presentation)ras


Brassey, V. (2023) Time for Twofoldness (conference presentation)

Brassey, V. The Expression of Emotions in Pictures, Routledge 2024. Co-editor with Professor Derek Matravers.

Brassey, V. (2023). The Pictorial Narrator Estetika

Brassey, V (2022) . Affect in Artistic Creativity: Painting to Feel (Book Review), British Journal of Aesthetics

Brassey, V. (2021). The Expression of Emotion in Pictures, Philosophy Compass,

Brassey, V. (2020). What Makes a Painting Sad? Thesis, King's College London.

BRASSEY, V. (2020). Still Moving. Debates in Aesthetics, Volume 15,(1), pp. 35-50.

BRASSEY, V. (2019). The Implied Painter. Debates in Aesthetics, Volume 14,(1), pp. 15-29.

'Time for Beauty'
BSA Fellowship 2022-3 

I am thrilled to have been awarded the BSA Postdoctoral Fellowship 2022-3. My project will be to explore the poorly defined concept of time-based aesthetic properties in (still) pictures, which I claim, helps to explain the representation and the expression of sophisticated emotions, such as regret, nostalgia, and euphoria.  This challenges a longstanding assumption that expressiveness in a picture (and other aesthetic properties) depends solely on spatial extension -  a curve here or a line there – while musical expressiveness depends on temporal properties namely, rhythm, melody, and cadence. However, given that sophisticated emotions such as nostalgia point to the past, it seems that the expressive qualities of at least some (such as nostalgic) pictures are interestingly time based.

Magazines & papers in progress

The Philosophers Magazine

The Pictorial Narrator (Under Review)

Visual Tempo (Conference Draft)

Time for Beauty (Film Script Draft)

Please contact me by email if you would like information on presentations. 

'The Sublime' - Produced and directed by Vanessa Brassey for the National Gallery, featuring Sacha Golob, Reader in Philosophy at King's College London.

Trailer for 'The Pleasures of Regret'

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