vanessa marsh
vanessa marsh

"Within the series Everywhere, Always, I have combined a series of black and white images and a series of color photographs.  In the black and white images planes of landscape appear to exist independently from one another like tectonic plates. Our sense of time and space is taken apart and re-ordered creating images where contemporary experiences and memory merge. How I see the world around me combines with recollections from multiple sources; the image of a water logged Washington State landscape might merge with that of disaster footage or a moment in an abandoned junkyard with a passage from The Grapes of Wrath. One memory collides with another to create new associations and feelings.

To make my original photogram negatives, I layer acetate drawings on top of light sensitive paper. I then expose the paper to light at intervals, removing a drawing at the end of each interval. This process creates a realistic depth of field and the illusion of a real landscape, despite being constructed entirely in the darkroom. Those negatives are then scanned and the image inverted into a positive digitally. The final prints are digital archival pigment prints.  Like the content of the images the process involves both old and new elements.

Within the color series I am exploring not only the workings of memory and imagination but also our contemporary relationship to the landscape; our dependence but also our disregard for the environment around us and how our feelings towards the landscape often center around ideas of dislocation, need and yearning.

To make the images, I construct miniature scenes out of models and natural elements such as moss and grass and photograph them against real backgrounds. Inspiration for the scenes is drawn from memories of human interactions and the experiences of the landscapes of Northern California and Western Washington.

The specific details of the memories have been transformed over time in my mind—influenced by subsequent observations, events, and occurrences. As memory is a combination of both real and imagined elements, so too are the photographs. Alluding to different locations and experiences simultaneously, the images are of unknown, imagined places yet are also evocative of something familiar. Ultimately, the images reference a shared experience of isolation.

I create dreamlike spaces that are at once anonymous and entirely personal. Rooted in imagination and memory the images represent locations that are suspended in both time and place, with no before or after."