Vanessa Winship – She Dances on Jackson

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(spreads courtesy of MACK)

Artist: Vanessa Winship
Title: She Dances on Jackson
Publisher: MACK
Year: 2013

The American road trip is a well-trodden path with a rich and varied photographic history. It is a history full of either Americans looking at themselves or visitors looking at Americans. Between autumn 2011 and winter 2012 Vanessa Winship travelled extensively across the United States with her large format camera. The result of that trip is a quiet document of a country that appears to be at a standstill, deciding its next move.

The work combines the classical genres of landscape, portraiture and still life to great effect, the open spaces combining with more intimate moments. A twisted tree; a scruffy façade; some worn theatre seats: the view here is of a country that has lost its sheen, the mood wistful and the silence palpable.

The portraits offer a light, a future.  The emphasis is on youth, children, teenagers, and young couples – the generations that will be taking the country forward.

She Dances on Jackson is an accomplished and worthy addition to the list of works made from the outside looking in and offers a timely, and melancholic survey of the odd and beguiling place that is America today.

Written by Edward Newton / Published 13 December 2013