Venetia Dearden

Venetia Dearden rarely is without a camera in hand, spurred by her passion and curiosity for people and places, and her fascination for light and her craft.Over the past twenty years her work has been published and exhibited worldwide. Her enthusiasm and commitment for private and commercial clients, magazines, and charitable organisations.

Her interest in photography began at school in the darkroom, and following an MA in Anthropology and a Postgraduate Degree in Photojournalism, she began a career in documentary photography in 2001. She has seamlessly crossed over into the world of fine art, exhibiting in various prestigious solo and group shows internationally.

Her photographs often oscillate between the intimacies of friendship and kinship ties on the one hand and the wider landscape on the other, serving to contextualist her subjects and asking the viewer to reflect on the way of life in the places she moves through.

She has given talks in New York, Paris, Oslo and around the UK to students and professional, sharing her tips of the trade and her journey to date. A member of VII Photo from 2011-2013, and a project facilitator for PhotoVoice, she is passionate about exploring the importance of the visual narrative. She has sat on the judging panel of various photographic competitions and continues to offer mentorship to emerging talent.



‘I felt an urge to take off on a trip – to do something unscripted. To document a self-expression that is increasingly precious in a society where we have perhaps become imprisoned by our own material desires. Our spirits can fly far and beyond these paradigms.

Intimate and spontaneous, Venetia’s latest book chronicles the adventures of a group of friends in the epic sweep of the American West. The work marks a further development in Venetia’s approach to photographing people and landscapes. The publication was nominated for Recontres d’Arles Book Award in 2012 and was featured as one of Joerg Colberg’s best books of the year in 2011. The series has been exhibited in London 2011,  New York 2012,  Amsterdam, 2012 and Switzerland 2012.

‘The viewer is made to move along, made to share some of the experiences, and this is what makes the book so successful. Add to that the fact that there are a great many very good photographs in the book, and you pretty much get a perfect result from eight days on the road in the US. Recommended.’– Joerg Colberg



‘As a photographer I was magnetically drawn to witness and understand what lies at its core. I decided to create an oasis amongst the crowds where I could meet and document some of the thousands of individuals who travelled from all around the world to make up this vast, eclectic gathering.’

Glastonbury, Another Stage launched as a solo show at the National Portrait Gallery in 2010, the year Glastonbury celebrated its 40th anniversary. In the same year it was shown at The Raw Gallery in Melbourne Australia, VII Gallery in New York, and Edel Assanti in London.

Venetia documented the people of Glastonbury Festival between 2003 and 2009 with a portable studio, capturing the personas that make up the fabric of this extraordinary midsummer gathering. Glastonbury Festival is the largest performing arts festival in the world situated in the Vale of Avalon.



‘My passion and curiosity for Somerset has been fuelled by my long-term connection with this area where I spent my childhood. I am compelled to return again and again to explore my relationship with the landscape and the people living here. It is reassuring to witness the pioneering spirit of those living on and within the resources of their surroundings, and I wanted simply to capture intimate moments in families striving to create a way of life they believe in. My journey takes me through seasons, rituals, gatherings and day-to-day life. I witness a sense of belonging and identity within these rich bonds of family and community.’ Somerset Stories, Fivepenny Dreams reflects on the sense of belonging and identity connected to Venetia’s childhood home. Exploring the haunts of her youth and the lives of the current inhabitants, the series intimately documents her surroundings and families who live there.This five year project was published in 2008 and was recently shown at the Phototaumnales Festival in France, September 2012 and was The Focale Gallery in Switzerland, September 2012 and is currently on show at the Espace Jorg Brockmann in Geneva.



A two year commission to produce a book celebrating the 40th anniversary of the British brand Mulberry Ltd. Venetia travelled between New York, Los Angeles, London, Somerset and beyond between 2009 and 2011, capturing life behind the scenes and the spirit of the brand. The book was designed by Construct Ltd.



On every page, Rise celebrates local heroes –mothers, farmers, surgeons, teachers, schoolchildren –people living on poverty’s frontline, who are taking a lead in their communities to make a better future for their families. The book brings a fresh vision for the developing world by focusing on bottom up initiatives, which empower local communities to find and implement their own solutions to their most pressing needs. Local initiatives tend to be more sustainable, and scalable, in meeting a communities needs, than programmes designed in distant lands and dependent upon foreign aid. “ (Extract from Rise)

As one of eight photographers involved in this project, I travelled  to Ethiopia in 2010 to document the work of The Legatum Foundation, in partnership with Geneva Global, who is working with local implementors to tackle the many faceted social problems caused by HIV and the stigma it has carried historically.

TANGIER Notes from late Summer


Following an assignment for Departures Magazine in Tangiers, I returned to spend time as an apprentice to the artist Elena Prentice. We consequently collaborated on a personal diary of my time there.

‘I spent some time in a place where the light dapples and awakens, the Atlantic breeze draws transient and timeless scents, the cities harnessed secrets offer themselves up generously, to inspire, create… and so the days in Tangier passed like a gentle dream..’

Artist Details