You know a work of art is really something else if it requires a double-take. And that’s exactly what you get with photographer and art director, Vanessa McKeown’s quirky and colourful images, featuring everyday items with an extraordinary twist. Literal ‘sponge’ cakes and balloon-based fruit and veg are just a small fraction of Vanessa’s creative vision.
You have a really unique, instantly recognisable style. How did you develop that?
—I think it’s developed from continuing to do things. I tried a lot of animation and film in a similar style and decided to start shooting it as still images instead. It’s taken a few years to get to this point, though.
You have a real knack for putting an unusual spin on everyday objects – how did that come about?
—I started taking pictures of still life initially and I felt they seemed a bit empty. I decided to give them more thought by bringing them to life. Giving them this edge means they have more of a reason exist.
What’s your favourite piece of work or image you’ve created so far?
—I do really love the balloon ones but I also love the sponge cakes!
All of your work is clever and obviously a product of a wild imagination paired with a genuine eye for design. Where do you find inspiration for your work?
—I think it comes from everywhere, there isn’t one thing I can pinpoint. Sometimes just working is good inspiration because it gets the mind in focus!
You have a background in graphic design and film as well as photography, with so many strings to your artistic bow, what can we expect to see from you next?
—Oh, I’m not sure! I think I might try ten-second films soon, but I think I’m going to try and see where I can take my photography first.
If you could work with any one other creative in a collaboration, who would you want to work with and why?
—I really love Lotta Nieminen. I look at her work and think how did she do that? Looking at her pieces just makes me want to do more work. I guess my reason for wanting to work with her is because she has a good eye for detail and I think we could collaborate well together, we have a mutual love of colour.