Vanessa Keran Hough
Vanessa Keran Hough was born in the rural valley of Wenatchee, WA on July 24, 1995. She attended Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, receiving a BFA in Spring of 2020. Her body of work revolves around photography, using both large format film, digital photography, collage, and sculpture. Her work has been displayed in: the Cornish Foundations show in 2016; a group print show at Joe Bar in Seattle, WA in 2017; Platforms of Exchange (Hallowed Halls and Two Lies, One Truth) at Cornish College of the Arts in 2018/19; the Cornish Gala at Seattle Art Museum in 2019; and The Vintage Trail in Bellingham, WA in 2019. She also participated as a collaborator in the IS IT TIME YET exhibition by Leonard Suryajayah at Specialist Gallery in Seattle, WA in 2019. She continues her photography practice at her home in Seattle, WA.
My work examines themes of identity, intimacy, and family by re-staging the vernacular through digital and analog photography. I’ve recently been building a body of work with the new process of shooting 4×5” film on a large format camera, along with my tried-and-true DLSR. My own prints play a large role in my work, but so do old family photographs. I find myself reusing dated family snapshots or looking to them for inspiration. When faced with the challenge of having very few of these treasured photos, I look to the internet to discover vast databases of vernacular photography. As I integrate these found pictures with my own, I find new context and meaning for my ongoing interest in how we perform for the camera. My work covers many themes, but they all relate back to this idea of performing for the camera to communicate the nostalgia of everyday life and the human experience. In both processes -staging my own images or manipulating found photographs- I use myself, my partner, and my adopted and biological family as subject matter. Stepping back from this age of technology and social media, I use snapshots to mimic and embody the family photo album and its unique way of storytelling, documenting, and memorializing. I consider it my own personal way of digital intervention. I intentionally use photography as a way to communicate personal narratives through accessible and relatable imagery. Staging my photographs requires attention to body language, proximities, facial expression, environment, costume, props, and actions being performed by my participants. All of these choices and more equate to the emotional context or narrative portrayed. The intent of my work is to make my viewers question the candid-ness or staged-ness of my photographs, while communicating the different ways we experience family, intimacy and identity.