Vanessa Winship


Vanessa Winship is a British photographer based in London. She was born in Great Britain in 1960. Winship graduated from Westminster University in 1987. She studied cinema and photography. In 1995 she got a certificate of London College of Printing. Later Winship joined Paris Agence Vu.

For the last 10 years Winship she has been working in both London and Istanbul. Most of her projects are devoted to the Balkans, specially to Turkey and Bulgar. Winship won lots of prestigious photo awards. Thus Winship is a winner of World Press Photo (in 1998 and in 2008), Sony world Photography Awards, Godfrey Argent Prize, and many others.

Her first monograph Schwarzes Meer was published in 2007 and was devoted to the Black sea. The project received Orvetia Book Prize, Italy, 2008. The second monograph Sweet Nothing was published in 2008.

Winship’s works were displayed several times during Visa pour l’Image and Les Rencontres d’Arles festivals. Here projects were also exhibited during international exhibitions in France, the United States, Italy, United Kingdom, China.

Winship also works as a teacher and a lecturer participating in different workshops including Lumix, Photo-pub, Doku-photo, Insight.

In her works Winship tries to convey daily life routine of people living in the Balkans. And mostly her black-and-white images remind old pictures of the beginning of the 20s century. The photos by Winship are very lyrical and calm. Sometimes it is really difficult to define the place and time when pictures were taken. They are out of time and place. And probably this very feature attracts attention to her series.

One of the most famous series by Winship is Sweet nothings. “I had been living and working in the region for almost a decade, and in Turkey itself for more than four years. I was drawn by ideas of borders and belonging. One enduring image that had always struck me wherever I traveled was the schoolgirls in their little blue dresses, the same in every town, city or village. These dresses with their lace collars and sweet messages embroidered on the bodices, were the symbol of the Turkish state, but the girls who wore them were simply little girls. In the borderlands of Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Armenia the dresses were still the same. The land is harsh and unforgiving, the mountains are high and cold”, describes Winship her project. In the Black sea series the photographer also was captivated by the issues of migration, identity and belonging.

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