The Garage Project began in 2011 when, each morning, I would take my two small children and two large dogs on a long walk, exploring the alleys, streets and beach front of our town.
I spent a lot of time in the alleys. Many of which were unpaved and had garages built in the late 1800. The garages that had not been rebuilt or otherwise enforced were tumble down sheds layered with peeling paint, a pallet of history. As we skipped through puddles, our boots muddy, I often felt transported back in time. Each shed had a story, one I wanted to capture and tell before it was lost to weather and time. And so began a journey of examining color and light, object and narrative. In the years since I began this project many of these garages have been torn down, rebuilt or rehabilitated. There were some I failed to capture before their disappearance and many I still do not know about, but this is a glimpse into a time and place, the seed of which has allowed me to imagine so many other stories.
About Vanessa Filley
Vanessa Filley was born in New York City in 1975. She received her BA from Oberlin College and for the first six years of her career was a human rights investigator at a law firm. Instead of following her intention to go to law school, she founded a clothing company of one of a kind wear from recycled fabrics. Two years later her practice evolved into mixed-media fine arts. Her work ranges from large scale sculptural installations to tiny embroidery pieces. After years of making pictures she discovered she could synthesize her art making in photographs, allowing her to design scenes, make costumes and conjure a certain sense of emotion and place. She has several long term series with overarching themes of childhood imagination and the female experience and is inspired by how history and memory shape who we are in the present. In June of 2018 she completed a two month residency at the Frances Willard House Museum. She has been showing work, and has won a number of juror’s awards, throughout the US and internationally since 2015. In 2018 she was one of Photolucida’s Top 50. She lives and works in Evanston, Il. [Official Website]