Vanessa’s work explores the dialogue between humans, beasts and the beast within humans. Her sculptures question our physical relationship with the world around us: mineral and animal. She chooses rocks that recall animalistic shapes and remakes them in sculpture in a process that she understands as the opposite of abstracting a form, eliciting the distilled essence of the animal with just a few simple lines.
Horned Beings emerge out of massive blocks with their horns made of a different material, reaching out and over, like limbs closing around something. Her Shield series of sculptures are based on a seashell that, in its enlarged form, becomes a metaphor for the measure of wo/man. It is a being that relates to our scale and resists definition, as it appears to include an inner core that gives it a subtle breath. Vanessa’s moths are also metaphors for human desire and the urge to overcome physical restrictions. They rest poetically on the wall, grounding us in our desire to seek light.
Vanessa was born in Germany, but now lives and works in Nova Scotia, Canada and Pietrasanta, Italy. Vanessa was twice semi-finalist for the prestigious Canadian Sobeys Art Award. In 2011, she received the Woman of Excellence Award from the Canadian Progress Club. Her work is in public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. She first showed at on form in 2018.