Photography by Hixem Barbudo Garcia and Larissa Craig
Words by Harry Potts
Venessa Scott was born in Nottingham and moved to Greater Manchester In 1997, relocating as a result of her parents following new career opportunities.
Venessa and her sister established a non-profit organisation called SevenThreeOne Ltd in 2015, which offers education and training to serving prisoners, ex -offenders and disengaged young people... offering courses in a range of creative subjects. She has recently made an creative impact in the city as a freelance artist based at her studio near Salford Quays.
Her work is often described as bold and joyful, making people smile. Her artwork is produced using a variety of methods and materials, with a strong emphasis on graphic shapes and whimsical characters and often incorporates elements from the environment into her work. Venessa has a particular passion for customising street furniture and installing public works of art.
In 2018, after winning an anonymous global competition, Venessa was commissioned by Bruntwood Works to design and create a 38 metre high art work on its landmark Trafford House building - one of the UK’s biggest permanent murals. The artwork commemorates the sacrifice and spirit of the Suffragette movement, including that of women’s rights pioneer Sylvia Pankhurst, who was born metres from the building. The bold and beautiful mural, which interweaves the rich legacy of the suffragettes with the rich local history, is situated on the East-facing end of the building overlooking Manchester United’s Old Trafford football ground.
Venessa & her giant artwork at Trafford House
Working on the 'Bears of Sheffield' sculpture
Venessa is embarking on a number of exciting new projects, including a collaboration with a local author’s children’s book and a commission to paint a giant bear for the upcoming ‘Bears of Sheffield’ sculpture trail.
“Manchester is my home, it is a fantastic, vibrant, diverse and creative city. People often ask about the ‘creative scene’ in Manchester but I do not believe Manchester has a creative scene; I believe that Manchester and creativity are simply one of the same thing. I love it!”
THE SHOOT: Salford, Old Trafford and Stretford
Venessa's Salford artist studio, Bruntwood Trafford House and Gorgeous Gorse Hill substation, Stretford.
Student reflection: Larissa Craig
“During the shoot with Vanessa I was initially very nervous, however she was very welcoming and accommodating and it quickly became an enjoyable experience. I found her easy to work with and helpful when directing the shoot. There were few issues; however, the biggest challenge was composing the artist and her work together in the frame when her artwork was on such a large scale. I was very pleased with the resulting images and it was a pleasure to work with and get to know Vanessa, I feel that we captured her warm and positive personality in these images”.