Born in the United Kingdom. Vanessa Winship lives in London.
After studying cinema and photography at Westminster University (Polytechnic of Central London), Vanessa shares her time between photography and teaching. She then fully devotes herself to photography and lives for about 10 years in the Balkans and Turkey.
She joins Agence VU in 2005,and the Gallery VU in 2009. Laureate of numerous prizes, including the World Press Photo (Amsterdam) twice, the National Portrait Gallery Prize (London), PhotoEspana Descubrimientos (Madrid).
Exhibited her works in numerous museums and festivals such as the Rencontres d'Arles, the Kunstall Museum of Contemporary Art in Rotterdam or the Horst Gallery and Photographers Gallery in London.
Prize-winner of the HCB Award 2011 for her project "Out there: an American Odyssey."
Source: Agence VU
Winship grew up in Barton-upon-Humber, rural Lincolnshire. She studied at Baysgarth School; Hull Art College (which included a photography module); photography at Filton Technical College, Bristol; and photography, film, and video at the Polytechnic of Central London from 1984 to 1987, graduating with a BA (Hons). She met her husband, the photographer George Georgiou, on the degree course.
From 1999 she spent a decade living and working in the Balkans and surrounding territories of Turkey and the Black Sea. First she lived in Belgrade, for a short while in Athens, and five years in Istanbul.
Her work is about the concepts of borders, land, desire, identity, belonging, memory and history, how those histories are told and how identities are expressed.
Her books have been widely acclaimed. Sean O'Hagan, writing in The Guardian, said "She is perhaps best known for Sweet Nothings, one of my favourite photography books of recent years". She Dances on Jackson was considered by Simon Bainbridge (editor of the BJP), Sean O'Hagan, Rob Hornstra and other reviewers to be shortlisted amongst the best photography books released in 2013. Phil Coomes, Picture editor at BBC News said "This is pure photography, and in my view, when viewed as a whole, is about as good as it gets."
Winship and George Georgiou travel together, alternating between one working and the other either supporting them or experimenting with their own photography.
She uses black-and-white photographic film in natural light. For her work in a reportage – or street – style she has used a 35 mm hand-held camera, for her landscape work she has at times used a medium format camera and for her portraiture work she has at times used a 5×4 inch large format camera. She says of the difference between using 35 mm and large format that "Each methodology makes for a different relationship with my subjects [and] both have their own beauty for me."