She dances on Jackson, 2011-2012

In 2011 Vanessa Winship was the recipient of the Henri Cartier Bresson Award which funds an artist to pursue a new photographic project. For over a year Winship travelled across the United States, from California to Virginia, New Mexico to Montana, in pursuit of the fabled ‘American dream’. she dances on Jackson presents a conversation, a lyrical and lilting interaction between landscape and portrait exploring the vastness of the United States and attempting to understand the link between a territory and its inhabitants. For Winship this relationship is inextricable; places accrue particular meanings according to the people she meets, what she sees, and by what’s happening to her personally. Each human encounter, sound and smell adds extra dimensions to her work and the resulting photographs.

She dances on Jackson marks a progression. Stylistically similar to her previous work using black and white film and a large format camera, Winship’s portraits remain arresting and unnerving but this body of work reveals her to also be a skilled landscape photographer. For Winship photography is a process of literacy, a path by which she understands life. Her intimate approach enables the reader to glimpse the world as she sees it, if only for a moment.

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Latvia, 2010

I was invited to teach a photography workshop in Latvia. The location was an isolated boarding-school right close to the border of Russia. The permanent inhabitants of the school were not present during our time there but the place resonated with their presencce.
I decided to return in the early spring of the following year when they were there. I didn’t really know who they were except for the clues within this small self-contained community; the sign above the door at the entrance of the school, the objects decorating the classrooms, and the possessions left behind in their dormitory rooms. These are the portraits I made on my return.

Vanessa Winship

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Georgia, 2009-2010

This place where I buy from a kind of messenger, the seeds for my imagining.
Georgia, like so many places with a sense of an ancient past, seemed to be in love with its own idea of self. It was a place where people comfortably celebrate the lush beauty of the land. And yet there is a kind of melancholia, an underbelly that almost inevitably sets itself against such exuberance. It is a place literally crumbling from the weight of such unsustainable romance.

Vanessa Winship

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The Black Sea, 2007

Named Pontus Exinus (the inhospitable sea), the Black Sea has always been navigated and its shores colonized. It has sat at the center of three major empires. It is then a place with a rich history of myth, legend and literature. I am interested in this history and the telling of that history, in the traces of history on both the physical and psychic landscape.

Vanessa Winship

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Sweet Nothings, 2007

One enduring image that had always struck me as travelled across Turkey were the schoolgirls in their little blue dresses. I decided to make a series of portraits. Knowing their status I wanted to give a small space for the girls to have a small moment of importance in front of a camera. I hoped to draw attention to the idea of these young girls poised at the moment «just before». The moment where possibility lies, a time where the presentation of self teeters into consciousness.

Vanessa Winship

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