Savannah Bracewell

Leading a Meeting

Photographic print

29cm x 42cm

Courtesy of the artist

Savannah Bracewell is a performance artist based in Northern Ireland who utilises photography, video, installation and mix media to create her work. Having grown up in a small village, Bracewell always felt compelled to explore and venture into the unknown. Pushing boundaries has always been a common theme within her work and she is inspired by topics that some may find uncomfortable or difficult to comprehend.

This series, ‘A Woman’s World’, uses performative photography to challenge dominant assumptions and stereotypes of women seen in online chat forums and articles surrounding the ideal ‘types of women.’

During her adolescent years, Bracewell was diagnosed with Endometriosis, a condition that can prohibit a woman from conceiving a child, among other conditions. She began questioning herself, asking “am I truly a real woman? If I may not be able to do what other women can do, am I a phony? Am I less worthy?” As a result, she became engrossed in extensive research and found several articles defining various ‘types of women’ and describing ‘what makes a good woman’.

Bracewell grew up in a household where the traditional gender roles were flipped and defining women by roles was a new concept for her. Using a performative approach, she evokes the misogynist or sexist gaze by creating cinematic tableaus of gendered situations. In this piece, entitled “Leading a Meeting”, it may appear that the protagonist is not in control of the situation, however there could be other interpretations for her silence, forcing the viewer to question their initial engagement with the piece.

The common theme throughout this series is that no right answer exists. The viewer is in full control of the outcome of their experience. Bracewell hopes this will encourage a consideration of other possibilities, instead of following one strict storyline based on stereotypes.