The British photographer Vanessa Winship is one of the best photographers of our time, whose work focuses on long term projects of documentary, reportage, portrait and landscape photography. She spent ten years travelling and working in the Balkans, living in cities like Belgrade, Athens and Istanbul. Sweet Nothings (2008) is a series of portraits of young students from the border area between Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Armenia.
Vanessa has also worked in the USA and one of her most notable projects is She Dances on Jackson (2013), a book dedicated to the decline of the so-called ‘American dream’. The proposal of this project won her the prestigious Henri Cartier Bresson award in 2011 making her the first woman be recognised for this prize. Vanessa was also awarded two World Press Photo Awards, ‘Photographer of the Year’ at the Sony World Photography Awards and an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society in 2018.
Her prize-winning photography revolves around significant themes, such as memory, identity, war, physical and existential borders. Vanessa photographs ordinary people, managing to make them extraordinary through her emphatic approach. She portrays her characters in a respectful and discreet manner, whilst capturing their fragile humanity.
Her collections demonstrate her preference for black and white photographs. Not only does it represent her preferred aesthetic but also a sign of exchange between past and present. As such, her portraits represent a concept of timelessness that the viewer can immediately grasp.
By Maria D’Aniello