Dr Caelli Brooker

Dr Caelli Brooker


School of Design Communication and IT

Career Summary


As an early career researcher and active visual communication design and visual arts practitioner, my research interests have evolved primarily from my professional experience in commercial design, creative pedagogy and the cultural and creative industries.

Exploring the nexus between design and art and arriving at an approach that incorporates both practice-led and practice-based research through traditional and digital print media, my current work examines visuality, visual thinking, typography, image-making, abstraction, artists' books and print production. Bridging the analogue and digital spheres, my research posits the exploration of traditional print production methods as complementary to the understanding and embodiment of the material, theoretical and historical contexts for contemporary typography and page design.

It also proposes visual methodologies and paradigms of design as generative methods of creative discovery, navigation, and analysis, in linking thought to its representations and visual interpretations.

As a mode of creative and conceptual aesthetic engagement, my research practice examines the interdisciplinary and multifaceted nature of creative design research, the connective multiplicities inherent in design, and its context within the broader research landscape.

Research Expertise
Visual art; mark-making; drawing; painting; print media; artists books; graphic design; typography; hapticity: practice as research; visual research methodologies; materiality; visuality; visual literacies; the nexus between art and design; art and design pedagogy; art theory and the philosophy of art and design.

My collaborator in exploring artist/teacher identities and collaborative engagement as part of the MA Artist Teachers & Contemporary Practices program at Goldsmiths College, is UK artist and teacher, Yvette Sullivan. This ongoing research is undertaken through the 'practise practice' collective and explores concepts of creative and occupational identity and dimensions of creative education and training, which connect a shared research interest in art and design pedagogy and communities of practice. Research generated through this collaboration has been presented through exhibitions and conferences in Australia and the United Kingdom. I have also collaborated with artist and writer Helen Hopcroft, on curatorial projects including a touring artists' book exhibition (Happily Ever After: alternative destinies in contemporary feminine narrative), and a curated group exhibition exploring the prevalence of bird imagery in contemporary culture (Year of the Bird). Together, we received a National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) Marketing Grant for 'Happily Ever After', which enabled the exhibition to travel to multiple national venues. Future collaborations are planned with both these artists/academics.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Advanced Diploma of Fine Arts, TAFE (NSW)
  • Diploma of Graphic Design, TAFE (NSW)
  • Bachelor of Fine Art, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours), University of Newcastle
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, TAFE (NSW)


  • Art and Design
  • Artists' Books
  • Creative Pedagogy
  • Drawing
  • Drawing & Painting
  • Graphic Design
  • Mark-making
  • Practice as Research
  • Practice, History and Theory of Art and Design
  • Printmedia
  • Typography
  • Visual Art
  • Visual Communication & Design

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
120307 Visual Communication Design (incl. Graphic Design) 60
190599 Visual Arts and Crafts not elsewhere classified 40

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Design Communication and IT

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2010 - 1/12/2013 Teacher Hunter TAFE
Faculty of Creative Industries
1/03/2009 - 1/12/2013 Sessional Academic University of Newcastle
School of Creative Arts


Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2007 - 31/12/2013 Membership - National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA)



Year Award
2015 Selected Artist - Between the Sheets: Artists’ Books 2015
Gallery East
2012 Selected Artist - Between the Sheets: Artists’ Books 2012
Gallery East + Midland Junction Arts Centre
2011 Selected Artist - Mattara Festival Outdoor Art Exhibition
Mattara Festival
2010 Finalist - 2010 Libris Awards: The Australian Artists’ Book Prize
Artspace Mackay, QLD
2009 Finalist - Text: 5th International Artist’s Book Triennial
The International Artist’s Book Triennial
2008 Selected Artist - The Utopian Library Project
The Utopian Library Project | Luoghi Dell’utopia Festival | Italy


Year Award
2012 Winner - People’s Choice and Best Mid-candidature Research Poster Award
UoN FEDUA Student Research Festival
2008 Winner (Painting Section) Brian & Rhoma Cummins Award
University of Newcastle
2007 Winner (Section D) Farrow Wyatt Maitland Art Prize
Maitland Art Prize
2007 Highly Commended (Sections A & B) Farrow Wyatt Maitland Art Prize
Maitland Art Prize


Year Award
2012 Residency - Gunyah Artist in Residence Program
Gunyah AIR


Year Award
2009 Faculty Medal (Faculty of Education and Arts)
University of Newcastle


Year Award
2013 Margaret Olley Friends of the University Postgraduate Scholarship in Fine Art
Friends of The University
2009 Australian Postgraduate Award
Commonwealth Government
2008 Deputy Vice Chancellor Honours Scholarship
University of Newcastle
2008 Provisional Honours Postgraduate Scholarship
University of Newcastle

Teaching Award

Year Award
2013 Hunter TAFE Staff Awards - Excellence in Customer Service Award - Design Centre
2010 Hunter TAFE Staff Awards - Team Award - Design Centre



Year Title / Rationale
2015 Speaker - The Outstanding Field: Artistic Research Emerging from the Academy
The symposium showcases the most outstanding PhD projects to have emerged from the Creative Arts in Australia and New Zealand over the last decade. All presenters are PhD graduates whose thesis projects have been recognized for their quality and excellence. This recognition includes Chancellors Awards for excellence, national and international prizes and other external recognition of the innovation and impact of their artistic research. Presenters for this symposium have been sponsored by Creative Arts institutions from across Australia and New Zealand. It will be an invaluable experience for academics in Creative Arts programs, PhD supervisors in practice-led creative arts disciplines and students enrolled in creative arts PhD and MFA programs.


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Conference (3 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Brooker CJ, 'Pinteresting Times: the use and abuse of images in creative research', Newcastle University, UK (2015)
2015 Brooker CJ, 'Lost in Translation: the materialisation of the mark in the digital age', University of Melbourne (2015)
2014 Brooker CJ, Sullivan Y, 'Collaboration: you're doing it wrong', TATE Liverpool, UK (2014)

Creative Work (26 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Brooker CJ, Sullivan YC, Mapping Collaboration: a participatory art project exploring working together, 310 NXrd Gallery, New Cross, London, UK (2015)
2015 Brooker CJ, Sullivan YC, Between the Sheets: Artists¿ Books Exhibition, 2015, Gallery East and Gallery Central (Central Institute of Technology), Perth, WA (2015)
2015 Brooker CJ, Testing (Sub)Stance, Shopfront Gallery,Newcastle (2015)
2015 Brooker CJ, Words and Origami, Gallery 139, Hamilton, NSW, Australia (2015)
2015 Brooker CJ, Six Wrapped Vessels, Gallery 139, Hamilton, NSW, Australia (2015)
2014 Brooker CJ, Jenolan Caves (exhibited as part of a Group Exhibition - Cooks Hill Galleries' 40th Birthday), Cooks Hill Galleries (2014) [J2]
2014 Brooker CJ, Tilley L, Smith A, Wells A, Roxburgh B, Joy P, McLaughlin A, Abstraction Now, Newcastle Art Space (NAS) (2014) [J3]
2014 Brooker CJ, Lost in Translation: the materialisation of the mark in the digital age, The University Gallery (2014) [J1]
2014 Brooker CJ, Typographic Origami Newcastle (exhibited as part of a group exhibition - Art City - Watt Space Gallery 25th Anniversary Exhibition), Watt Space Gallery (2014) [J2]
2013 Brooker CJ, Graphicality: new work, Greenway Gallery, Morpeth (2013) [J1]
2013 Brooker CJ, Shaw G, Tilley P, Murland A, Rey U, Chaffey N, et al., Popped, The Lock-Up, Newcastle, NSW, Australia (2013) [J2]
Co-authors Una Rey
2013 Brooker CJ, Murland A, Elliot-Ranken M, Osmotherly M, Smith B, Out of Hand: abstraction in monochrome and colour, The Depot Galleryt, Waterloo, NSW, Australia (2013) [J2]
2013 Brooker CJ, Hopcroft H, Year of the Bird: a celebration of hybridity, Maitland Regional Art Gallery, Newcastle, NSW, Australia (2013) [J3]
2012 Brooker CJ, Marked Difference, Shopfront Gallery, Newcastle, NSW, Australia (2012) [J2]
2012 Brooker CJ, The Cave: A Dialogue, Gallery East and Midland Junction Arts Centre, North Fremantle, WA, Australia (2012) [J2]
2012 Brooker CJ, Hopcroft HF, Webb CE, Bird C, Wood D, Happily Ever After: Alternative Destinies in Contemporary Feminine Narrative, John Paynter Gallery, Newcastle, NSW, Australia (2012) [J3]
Co-authors Caroline Webb
2012 Brooker CJ, Hopcroft HF, The Year of the Bird: A Celebration of Hybridity, Maitland Art Gallery, Maitland, NSW< Australia (2012) [J2]
2011 Brooker CJ, Coast Lines, Cooks Hill (2011) [J1]
2011 Brooker CJ, Suspended Void, Bacchus, Newcastle (2011)
2010 Brooker CJ, Re@D, Watt Space Gallery, Newcastle (2010)
2010 Brooker CJ, To The Cave: A Pilgrimage, Watt Space Gallery, Newcastle (2010)
2009 Brooker CJ, Unedition: Hello Blackbird, Watt Space Gallery, Newcastle (2009)
2008 Brooker CJ, Mote(if), University Gallery | Newcastle (2008)
2008 Brooker CJ, Reading Leaves, Newcastle Art Space, Newcastle (2008)
2007 Brooker CJ, Domestic Mythology, Watt Space Gallery, Newcastle (2007)
2007 Brooker CJ, Chinese Whispers, Watt Space Gallery, Newcastle (2007)
Show 23 more creative works

Thesis / Dissertation (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Brooker CJ, Lost In Translation: the materialisation of the mark in the digital age, The University of Newcastle (2014)

Grants and Funding


Number of grants 3
Total funding $33,728

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

20151 grants / $7,500

Analogue/Digilogue: a letterpress studio renewal project$7,500

New Staff Grant

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE

20111 grants / $2,500

Happily Ever After: alternative destinies in contemporary feminine narrative$2,500

An exhibition of artists’ books curated by Caelli Jo Booker and Helen Hopcroft. The exhibition is conceived as an interdisciplinary collaboration between local, national and international, artists, writers and craftspeople invited to work together to create handmade books which explore female narratives within the fairytale genre. While the classic fairytale ending ‘happily ever after’ envisages a single, finite destiny, the contemporary feminine experience encompasses a multiplicity of roles, expectations, endings, beginnings and relationships. Thus the exhibition theme is probably best conceptualised as a celebration of diversity within destiny, with the fairytale genre used as the narrative vehicle to explore this idea. John Paynter Gallery, 10 – 26 June 2011 Cox Rayner Gallery, Artspace Mackay, 29 July – 28 October 2011 Manly Library, 3 December 2011 – 29 January 2012

Funding body: Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

Funding body Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
Project Team
Scheme Australian Postgraduate Award
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2011
Funding Finish 2012
Type Of Funding Not Known
Category UNKN

20091 grants / $23,728

Australian Postgraduate Award$23,728

Australian Postgraduate Award Description: PhD (Fine Art) School of Creative Arts Faculty of Education and Arts Research Topic - Lost in Translation - The Materialisation of the Mark in the Digital Age

Funding body: Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

Funding body Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
Project Team
Scheme Australian Postgraduate Award
Role Lead
Funding Start 2009
Funding Finish 2013
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS

Research Supervision

Number of supervisions


Total current UON EFTSL


Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2015 PhD Comic Auteurs - Assessing the Isolated and Collaborative Design Processes Behind Comic Books Through the Framework of Auteur Theory
PhD (Design), Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2014 Honours Coal Magazine - Visual Strategies that can Sustain Readership and Attract Audience
The research explores how an examination of magazines can inform visual strategies that can sustain readership and attract audience. It will aim to discover how magazine designs and subsequent redesigns have formerly helped to increase the readership of a publication. The research will also explore how knowledge gained from an interrogation of target audience can impact on design outcomes. In focusing on the potential of harnessing audience analysis in shaping the visual elements of magazine design, the outcome of the research will be a magazine publication entitled COAL.
Graphic and Design Studies, The University of Newcastle
2014 Honours Hybrid Novels: The New Novel? Graphic Devices Contributing to New Ways of Reading
This Honours project is a practice-based design research exploration of the hybrid novel form. It interprets Edward O. Wilson's prose text, 'Trailhead' - a theatrical account of events surrounding the loss of a queen ant and the subsequent demise of her ant colony. As a design publication, this project explores the possibility of constructing further meaning outside of the understood conventions of the novel, through the design and production of a mini-hybrid novella. In creating my own hybrid, I have undertaken an examination of the surrounding literature, completed visual analyses of hybrid publications and considered where they sit within emerging forms of communication. This accompanying exegetical text outlines these processes and provides a critical interpretation and explanation of the Trailhead novella project. The design of this text is inspired by the theatrical nature of the found narrative used in my project, the structural and conceptual metaphor of the acts of a play navigating not just my the novella, but the story of the research itself. In the traditional novel, linguistic description through the written word alone provides the reader with context and creates mental images. Hybrids offer a multi-modal form of the novel, incorporating multiple visual strategies and combining different semiotic systems; the linguistic and the visual, in occupying a communication space where both word and image are present and contribute to the formation of meaning. In this sense, hybrids often also rely upon the reader's own knowledge, experiences, perceptions and interpretations in enabling a potentially deeper understanding of the story by the reader. My hybrid novella incorporates graphic devices including typographic manipulation, ephemera, illustrative elements and photography, in order to push this construction of meaning, and encourage the reader to move beyond where they would normally venture in experiencing a text. This design interplay represents a perceived exploratory change within visual communication as well as literature, and a consideration of our potential use of visual language to enhance story telling, page design, and the reading experience. In researching through visual communication design to explore an existing factual narrative, the Trailhead project presents my research surrounding the hybrid; ultimately creating a design artefact that embodies hybridity and challenges the conventions of the traditional novel.
Graphic and Design Studies, The University of Newcastle

Research Collaborations

The map is a representation of a researchers co-authorship with collaborators across the globe. The map displays the number of publications against a country, where there is at least one co-author based in that country. Data is sourced from the University of Newcastle research publication management system (NURO) and may not fully represent the authors complete body of work.

Country Count of Publications
Australia 1

Dr Caelli Brooker


School of Design Communication and IT
Faculty of Science and Information Technology

Contact Details

Email caelli.brooker@newcastle.edu.au
Phone +61 2 4921 6368


Room D206
Building Design Building
Location University Drive Callaghan NSW 2308 Australia
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308