Vanessa is a young artist living just outside of London, a recent first class Fine Art graduate of Middlesex University. Her main inspiration for exploring and making work is her family history, and since 2008, Vanessa has been passionately researching this subject and applying her findings to her artwork; from old photographs and maps, to family documents. She first became interested in this when she came across the work of Christian Boltanski, which she could instantly relate to, and so she has drawn a lot of ideas from his work. This is also where she discovered her interest for craft-based, handmade mediums.
Vanessa finds it important to use her own photos and stories within her artwork in order to simply form a narrative. It is not necessary for the viewer to recognise it as her family, but just for them to relate to it as a family, or the family, which can then be applied to their own lives and memories. Photos evoke all sorts of thoughts and feelings, and it is important for the viewer to make their own meanings when interpreting the work for themselves in their own way. They need to unpick the layers to discover what it is that they want from it.
Since leaving university, Vanessa has kept up with her artistic practice, exhibiting as often as she can, as well as being a part of a new curating organisation formed in January 2012, The Ken-Ditch Collective. This group aims to create opportunities for artists to exhibit new and existing work based on specific briefs and themes, opening up avenues and creating prospects for new, up-and-coming artists as well as engaging local communities.