LCN Story: Photographer Vanessa Short
October 2016


Vanessa Short’s photography centers on the everyday life, the things that she loves or attract her attention. Recording stories of the everyday folk and events around her, not only those that have been apart of her own history but of subjects she finds of interest. She works predominantly in digital photography and audio recordings but enjoys looking to other mediums. Shooting in analogy and most recently mixing digital and alternative film processing for a recent arts council funded project on coal miners crossing their picket lines of the 1984-1985 national miners strike.

TMK120384BERSHAM – Ted was an NUM representative for North Wales at the time of the miners strike. He remembered my grandfather from Point of Ayr colliery when I sat down to talk with him but not my father who started at the colliery before transferring to Rossington in Yorkshire. A little awkward as it was my dad who’d asked if Ted remembered either of them. Photograph of the photogravure print with a quote from Ted, each print was presented in this way.

What new medium or project are you introducing to your practice and why have you chosen it?
Carrying on with my slightly worrying obsession with the 1984-’85 miners strike, I have begun to look into the women’s involvement in the year long dispute. Focusing on the women who went into politics or continued the fight against social injustice instead of returning to their previous role of housewives. This project will create photogravure prints to be exhibited with accompanying sound recordings of interviews with the participants. I intend to photograph each participant outside their home in front of an open door, it is a symbol of the opportunities that opened up for these women during strike action.
The subject of the dispute is of particular interest to me as both my father and grandfather were involved in the year long struggle, both beginning on opposite sides but ending on the same, with my grandfather working through the whole strike and father only returning 4 days before it was called off.

What was the main motivation behind your application to the LCN programme?
LCN sounded like the push I needed. I want my practice, like most people, to be more successful and expand. I’m keen at looking into ways of funding my projects, I create work from personal interests from social history to the everyday. I’ve funded most personal projects myself with the exception of the previous study of the miners strike and those who crossed the picket lines.
I’m also interested in exploring alternative printing techniques whilst on LCN. I feel very removed from the finished print process when all I do is upload a file to a printers and pick up the artwork a few days later. I’ve registered for the Salt printing workshop at Four Corners and I’m keen to learn about bichromate, its something I’ve been looking into for a while after learning photogravure printing with polymer plates.

What is the most useful advice or tips you’ve been given on the programme so far? 
Since joining the programme I’ve attended a Four Corners workshop on grant funding, Carla at Four Corners also provided a 1-2-1 to look over my Elephant Trust application. I found the feedback a great help and after another look over it we submitted the bid. I’m currently writing my Grants for the Arts application and have been given the opportunity through Four Corners to discuss and develop this further at an Arts Council surgery.
It was also interesting hearing the different formats photographers are getting their work published at Four Corners Photo Book forum. I guess like all photographers I’d like to think my work will be published in book format one day.

What plans do you have after participating with LCN?
I’d like to be successfully funding projects, running workshops and talks off the back of them. Its early days for the programme, I just want to take advantage of as many workshops as possible and see where it takes me.