Valerie earned a B.A. in fine art from Hornsey College of Arts, in England, and another B.A. in Graphic Design from the Basel School of Art & Design (the Kunstgewerbeschule ) in Switzerland.
On her return to England she was invited to work as an artists assistant and lithographic edition printer with an international fine arts publishing house, Petersburg Press.
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Throughout the next eight years she enjoyed working with major artists such as Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg, and Dieter Roth. It was a project with Frank Stella in 1973 that first brought her to the US, where she lives today.
She quit edition printing before the birth of her daughter Sam and, almost by accident, became a toy designer and inventor.
During these years Valerie became fascinated by the power that an 11 1/2 pink, plastic plaything (Barbie) has exerted over generations of little American girls, how deeply this doll and her very questionable values have penetrated our society. In fact how Barbie has become an American icon, just as surely as Marilyn, Lady Liberty, and the Stars and Stripes.
With the onset of the gulf war, (1991) she found the need to return to creating her own artistic statements. Her time in the toy industry had its influence on this work. Both Barbie and the universal toy soldier have become basic media for her pieces.
Valerie's latest artworks combine common American and religious icons with childrens toys and other ubiquitous elements in assemblages designed to evoke conflicting messages.