I work on a wide range of projects from my rural studio in Norfolk, reinterpreting and responding to narratives, sites, collections and archival materials. I am interested in historical themes, challenging historical and contemporary viewpoints and exploring women's struggles throughout history and today. Some of my themes relate to identity, inequality, power, patriarchy, oppression and othering.
My focus is on producing playful and engaging artwork through new media art, using a collage based process that combines mixed media including: archival and found materials; own photography and film; live action; sound and mark-making. I first discovered a love for digital collage, creating compositions rich in costumed figures, artefacts and architectural pieces. These skills have enabled me to explore other digital technologies and techniques such as green screen filmmaking, collage animation and of late augmented reality.
I collaborate with museum and heritage organisations on creating engaging experiences, through art exhibitions, artist residencies, community projects and commissions for film, illustration and design. My clients include National Trust, Wellcome Collection, Wells Maltings Trust, Ipswich Museums, University College of London, Norwich University of the Arts and North Lincolnshire Museum. Currently, I am interested in transforming the audience's experience and exploring new art forms including immersive art, interactive art, installation art and performance art and am excited to apply these skills to future projects.
My practice is ideas based and concepts are foremost to the development of my artwork, generated from deep research on themes and philosophies. My ideas are sparked from site visits, ideologies and/or reading around an era. My influences vary from Surrealism, Dadaism, Pre-Raphaelites, Eastern European filmmakers to more contemporary artists such as Shana Moulton, Cindy Sherman and Rachel Maclean.
My personal projects have showcased at The Courtauld Institute of Art, Montreal International Film Festival, The Guildhall Art Gallery, Old Truman Brewery and The Sphinx Fine Art Gallery. My current solo exhibition That's Not My Name is showing at Normanby Hall as part of an artist residency, with large scale collages, AR experiences and selection of films.
For me, blurring the lines between fact and fiction can create something fresh and exciting that awakens the curious mind.
Tracy Satchwill’s excerpts from The Life of Marie Antoinette presents fantastical episodes of whimsy and splendour. Composed of a combination of illustration, collage, photography and found objects, Satchwill’s three-dimensional toy theatres are intricately composed scenes of artifice. First invented as advertisements for playhouses, Victorian Toy Theatre quickly assumed a private role independent from the public stage. Toy theatre brought drama into the middle-class home, allowing children and adults informally to direct their own plays. Satchwill reinvents this Victorian tradition to illustrate historical narratives. Her contemporary toy theatres are frozen in time, thus removing the element of personal agency and continuous movement from the dioramas. This removal of viewer interaction is fitting for illustrating the story of Marie Antoinette, who was notorious for her obliviousness to the common man. Furthermore, the bright colours and elaborate decorations of toy theatres wittily captures the French Queens signature love of ornament and spectacle. By representing historical events as theatrical scenes, Satchwill calls attention to the manner to which we perform history. By translating real events into stories, historians blur the line between truth and fiction.
Exhibitionism: The Art of Display, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House