Tracy Satchwill is based in Norfolk, UK working across film, performance and digital processes to explore how we perceive ourselves and others. Her central interests are women, exploring women’s history and questioning our cultural practices today. Accused witches, hysterical suffragettes and frustrated housewives have all played a part in her artwork.
Her approach is collage based, layering a wide range of materials depending on the project. This can include live action, archival materials, own photography and footage, found materials, text, sound, mark-making and so on.
Her work has been shown at The Courtauld Institute of Art (London), Montreal International Film Festival (Canada), Mana Contemporary (CADAF - Miami), The Guildhall Art Gallery (London), Old Truman Brewery (London), Science Museum (London), Empire State Building (New York), Vane Gallery (Newcastle), Wild Gallery (Brussels), 35 Chapel Walk (Sheffield), Orleans House Gallery (Richmond), and The Sphinx Fine Art Gallery (London).
She studied an MA from Norwich University of the Arts (2017) and a BA (Hons) from University of Plymouth (2010). Her Arts Council awarded Magna Carta Women project toured England as part of the Magna Carta celebrations (2015). Hysterical Females, an experimental film exploring discrimination against Edwardian women screened at Ilfracombe Film Festival, other events and art galleries marking the centenary of women’s suffrage (2018). Water Marks film was selected for the Montreal International History Film Festival (2020) and Norwich Film Festival (2019) and Girls will be Girls for the FaB Festival (2020) and semi-finalist at Margate Film Festival (2020). I Can See You recently received an honourable mention at the Experimental Forum (2021) for her 'vision and the film's unique contribution to cinema'. Her video Striving for Perfection was shortlisted for RSA Moving Image award (2018).
Satchwill has undertaken numerous commissions for film, illustration and design including National Trust, Wellcome Collection, Wells Maltings Trust, Ipswich Museums, Women's Institute, University College of London, Norwich University of the Arts and North Lincolnshire Museum.
This year, Satchwill will be participating in an artist residency at Normanby Hall, and a DYCP programme supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Tracy Satchwill is a multidisciplinary artist working across moving image, sound, performance and digital processes to explore, through a feminist perspective, historical and contemporary behaviours and perspectives. Her artwork derives from historic narratives and fairytales, which are playful and at times theatrical yet full of multifaceted messages that highlight social issues. Her central concerns are the perceptions of women, exploring women’s history and questioning whether historic thoughts and beliefs are still deeply rooted in our society and if it continues to affect our culture today.
Satchwill works in new media and first discovered a love for digital collage, creating compositions rich in costumed figures, artefacts and architectural pieces, combining a wide range of materials including photography, archives, mixed media and film. The brightly coloured feminine works are delicately overlaid with textures, markmaking, patterns, text and found objects. Her skills in digital collage has enabled her to explore other digital technologies and techniques such as green screen filmmaking, collage animation and of late augmented reality.
Satchwill’s practice is ideas based and concepts are foremost to the development of her artwork, generated from deep research on themes and philosophies. Her ideas are sparked from site visits, ideologies and/or reading around an era. Her influences vary from Surrealism, Dadaism, Pre-Raphaelites, Eastern European filmmakers to more contemporary artists such as Shana Moulton, Cindy Sherman and Rachel Maclean.
Recently, Satchwill has been creating metaphorical narratives based in imaginary worlds, which reflect on historical experiences but are within a contemporary context, drawing on the methods of writer Margaret Atwood; ‘if I want to create an imaginary world, I want the toads in it to be real’. Satchwill has a fascination with social science fiction and at an early age was mesmerised by the stories of Brave New World and 1984. She is excited to combine this interest with her love of history to develop new narratives that combine both fantasy and reality.
'I am interested in creating metaphorical narratives that blur the line between truth and fiction'.