Vanessa Marsh

Within the series Constellation, 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 scale models and acetate drawings on top of light sensitive paper. I then expose the paper to light at intervals, removing a drawing or a layer of models 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.

Within the series I am exploring not only the workings of memory and imagination but also our contemporary relationship to the landscape, where we might find ourselves in the future and how our feelings towards the landscape often center around ideas of dislocation, need and yearning.

Born in Seattle, WA, in 1978, Vanessa Marsh lives and works in Oakland, CA. She received a MFA in 2004 from the California College of the Arts and a BA from in 2001 from Western Washington University. She has shown most recently at The Nelson Gallery at UC Davis and also throughout the Bay Area, including exhibitions at the San Jose Museum of Art, Southern Exposure Gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, and the Headlands Center for the Arts. In 2007, she was awarded a MacDowell Colony Fellowship in Peterborough, NH and in 2011, a Kala Fellowship. She is represented by Dolby Chadwick Gallery in San Francisco and Julie Nester Gallery in Park City, Utah.

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