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Val was born in Nairobi, Kenya. She graduated from Napier College, Edinburgh, in 1984 with a Higher National Diploma in Photography and then moved to South Africa. During the five years spent as the Chief Photographer at the Playhouse Company she held two exhibitions. The first, Caught in the Act (1988), featured images of the theatre. Her second exhibition, AGFA's Textured Lives (1992) was sponsored by Agfa and toured the country extensively. This exhibition featured portraits of top performing artists in unusual outdoor settings. It was published by AGFA in 1994, as a
Val left The Playhouse Company in 1993 to work as a freelance photographer. In 1995 AGFA's Textured Lives II, developing the theme of its predecessor, was commissioned by AGFA. This exhibition toured South Africa until November 1996.
In 1997, she was commissioned by the Wildlife Society of SA to produce an exhibition depicting Durban's bay. Baywatch toured Kwa-Zulu Natal and a calendar was produced.
Her 2001 exhibition Curve, was commissioned by The Playhouse Company
for the South African Women's Arts Festival 2001. It celebrates the feminine
form in all it's diversity. Her subjects ranged in age from 8 days to
65 years old.