Vanessa Brown

I'm a British woman living in Oxfordshire, UK, with my dog, Jaxx, who accompanies me on walks in the woods and nearby countryside where I gather found materials for my art work.

I was diagnosed HIV+ in 2014 and it cam as a huge shock to discover that I had actually been living with HIV since 1983. During that time I had had two husbands and two children, none of whom tested positive. Eventually my illness was traced back to a relationship I had aged 19 while I was at university.

In the aftermath of my diagnosis I was determined to speak up for those who were unable to do so and made several radio and tv appearances, talking about the impact of stigma and the fact that U=U (zero risk as it is now called).

These days HIV is not a huge part of my life although I occasionally give talks to nursing students about what it's like to live with the virus.

I work for a bereavement counselling charity, something I was drawn to after both my parents died before I was 20. I am passionate about my work and believe that death and dying just isn't talked about enough in a way that normalises it as part of life and living.

I have no formal art training but have always enjoyed colour and dabbling in various media.