Press release: Vanessa Winship: And Time Folds

Untitled from the series Humber

Opening 22 June 2018, Barbican Art Gallery is proud to present the first major UK solo exhibition of British contemporary photographer Vanessa Winship. 

Important note: The exhibition Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing, situated in the lower galleries of Barbican Art Gallery, is on at the same time as Vanessa Winship: And Time Folds on show in the upper galleries.
The ticket gains entry to both exhibitions.

The recipient of the prestigious Henri Cartier-Bresson Award in 2011, Winship’s poetic gaze explores the fragile nature of our landscape and society, how memory leaves its mark on our collective and individual histories. Winship’s oeuvre captures the ‘transition between myth and the individual’, revealing deeply intimate photographs that often appear to avoid specific contexts or any immediate political significance. The exhibition brings together an outstanding selection of more than 150 photographs, many of which have never been seen before in the UK, as well as a collection of unseen archival material. Vanessa Winship: And Time Folds is part of the Barbican’s 2018 season, The Art of Change, which explores how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.

Vanessa Winship said: ‘I'm delighted to have the opportunity to be able to show what I've been doing these last years to an audience in my home country; to introduce older works, but also to have the possibility, for the first time, to reveal something of the new’.

Jane Alison, Head of Visual Arts, Barbican said: It is a real pleasure to stage the first major show of Vanessa Winship’s work in the UK at Barbican Art Gallery. Highly regarded and firmly established within photographic circles, this much overdue exhibition will be a wonderful opportunity to introduce Winship’s photography to a wider public, as well as to showcase a great body of her powerful, and also deeply poetic work, from early prints to more recent projects completed for the exhibition. As part of The Art of Change, and staged alongside the first UK retrospective of Dorothea Lange, this promises to be a stellar summer of two photographic greats”.

Vanessa Winship’s practice focusses on the junction between ‘chronicle and fiction, exploring ideas around concepts of borders, land, memory, desire, identity and history’. Living and working in the region of the Balkans, Turkey and the Caucasus for more than a decade her epic series Imagined States and Desires: A Balkan Journey (1999–2003) and Black Sea: Between Chronicle and Fiction (2002–2006) investigate notions of periphery and edge on the frontiers of Eastern Europe, displaying the human condition through a vulnerable, yet intentionally incomplete, narrative. Capturing fragmentary images of collective rituals, means of transport and leisure activities, she presents a frieze of the human landscape in these regions, expressing society’s relationship to the terrain while remaining remote from any precise geo-political or historical events.

Also on display is the formal yet strikingly intimate series Sweet Nothings (2007), portrait photographs of school girls from Turkey’s eastern borderlands. The series of portraits, produced in an almost serial manner by Winship, draws the viewer’s attention to the individual features of the girls, particularly the affectionate messages or ‘sweet nothings’ which are embroidered on their lace collar or bodice of their uniforms. By photographing repetitious and formal portraits she emphasises the girls as individuals, ‘unified by many things including their history, their position in society, and the fact that they are little girls from a rural place’.

Vanessa Winship is perhaps best known for winning the prestigious Henri Cartier-Bresson Award in 2011which enabled her to undertake a new photographic series in the United States Set upon the backdrop of the economic recession and decline of the American Dream, she dances on Jackson (2011–2012) explores the basic human connection between people while tracing the history of violence that characterises the country, from California to Virginia, New Mexico to Montana, and still impacts the population today. Following the great photography masters including Walker Evans, Robert Adam and Robert Frank, Winship sensitively navigates the engrained scars of neglect which has transformed the once prosperous landscape. Winship includes timeless scapes of the American terrain depicting the lasting effects of a crumbling civilisation, resonating with the landscapes of her hometown estuary and discussing concepts of periphery and edge expressed in her series Humber (2010).

Turning to the eastern-European state of Georgia in her series Georgia: Seeds Carried by the Wind (2008–2010) Winship explores a country whose people celebrate the lush beauty of their land, but are also inherently melancholic due to the memory of conflict and weight of the post-Soviet economic collapse. Beside photographs of neglected Soviet sculptures, studies of contemporary Georgian people and photographs of funerary pictorial portraits are presented in colour for the first time in Winship’s oeuvre.

To coincide with the exhibition, Winship has conceived a new and ongoing photographic series, And Time Folds (2014-ongoing). Shown for the first time at Barbican Art Gallery this body of work combines black and white and colour photography with found objects to create a thought-provoking departure from her previous series.

Vanessa Winship was born in Barton-upon-Humber, Lincolnshire in 1960. Her recent solo exhibitions include, Vanessa Winship at Fundación MAPFRE, Spain (2014), touring to additional venues in Spain, France and Italy – Sala de Exposiciones de San Benito, Valladolid, Spain (2014), Fondazione Stelline, Milan, Italy (2014/15), El Centro Andaluz de La Fotografia, Almeria, Spain (2015), Espacia de las Artes Tenerife Spain (2015), Le Galerie château d’eau, Toulouse, France (2015), and Centro de Arte La Regenta, Gran Canaria , Spain (2016); Georgia: Seeds Carried by the Wind, Third Floor Gallery Cardiff, UK (2013); she dances on Jackson, Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris, France (2013); Sweet Nothings and Black Sea: Between Chronicle and Fiction, Side Gallery, Newcastle (2008/09). She was included in a recent group show The Grain of the Present (2018) at Pier 24, San Francisco, USA. Vanessa Winship has won several major photography awards including Henri Cartier-Bresson Award (2011) for she dances on Jackson; Godfrey Argent Prize, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK (2008) and 2nd prize Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery, UK (2009) for Georgia: Carried by the Wind; and the Iris d’Or Sony World Photography Award (2008) for Sweet Nothings.

Notes to Editors

Press Information
For further information, images or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Ann Berni, Senior Communications Manager +44 207 382 7169,
Lily Booth, Communications Officer +44 207 382 6162,
Bréifne Ó ConbhuíCommunications Assistant +44 207 382 7254,

Full press pack available online from the Barbican Newsroom:
Links to all documents can be found in the ‘Downloads’ box on the top right-hand side of the page from

Public Information
#vanessawinship @barbicancentre
Barbican Art Gallery and Gallery Shop, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS, London
0845 120 7550,

Opening Hours: 
Saturday to Wednesday, 10am–6pm (last entry 5.30pm walk up, 5pm online
Thursday and Friday, 10am–9pm (last entry 8.30pm walk up, 8pm online)
Bank holidays: 12-6pm (last entry 5.30pm walk up, 8pm online)

Ticket Prices
: £13.50 Membership Plus: Unlimited free entry + guest Membership: Unlimited free entry Corporate Membership: Unlimited free entry + guest Young Barbican (14 -25s): £5 (no booking fee) Concessions: £11 Students/14-17: £9 Art Fund Members: £11 Under 14s: Free

Please note that your ticket for Vanessa Winship: And Time Folds will also gain you entry to Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing, exhibited on the ground floor of the main gallery.

Important Notes
Young children need to be supervised at all times
Large bags, rucksacks and luggage are not permitted in the gallery. All bags are subject to search. Food and drink are not permitted.

Vanessa Winship: And Time Folds, 22 June to 2 September is curated by Barbican Art Gallery and designed by Mary Duggan Architects.

Exhibited in the gallery at the same time is Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing, the first ever UK retrospective of the American documentary photographer Dorothea Lange (1895–1965). The exhibition charts Lange’s outstanding photographic vision including her legendary images of the devastating impact of the Great Depression on the American population, as well as rarely seen photographs of the internment of Japanese-Americans during the Second World War.

Also coinciding with Vanessa Winship: And Time Folds, is the sixth of the changing foyer displays The Hull of a Large Ship (18 May – November 2018) which explores the Barbican Art Centre original drawings with contributions by five architecture practices.

The exhibition,Vanessa Winship: And Time Folds, is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue by MACK with an essay by esteemed academic David Chandler.
Price: £35.00 ISBN: 978-1-912339-09-9

A rich programme of talks and events accompanies the exhibition. Check the website for full listings: 

Barbican Art Gallery Shop
In addition to the official exhibition catalogue the Gallery Shop also features a wide selection of the featured photographers’ books and other related titles plus prints, stationery, postcards, photographic gifts and more. The best of the Barbican Shop ranges can be found online at

The Art of Change at the Barbican 2018
The Art of Change presents bold artistic responses to vital global issues including feminism, climate change and human rights, while providing a platform for voices currently underrepresented in the arts. The season includes world-class music, theatre, dance, film, visual arts and learning and runs throughout 2018.