As well as being a societal issue, sexism is fundamentally a personal one that many people, especially women, are subjected to on a day to day basis in such areas as the workplace, social scenarios, throughout mass media and so on. It goes without saying, that if it’s not something we decide to openly address and discuss, unfortunately it is likely to continue to be an everyday norm.
Personally, I have long been an admirer of art that expresses its purpose by highlighting areas of our everyday lives that people can relate to, that provokes both thought and conversation, and also brings about a fresh perspective on subjects that are often overlooked.
Having said that, I truly believe fashion media, as a medium of communication, has the potential to not only be a form of art for aesthetic pleasure and advertising, but also to raise awareness of prevailing circumstances that require our attention.
So we decided to focus the lens on sexism in such a way. The idea arose from the desire to create a visually compelling fashion film, and from a discussion on the personal experiences of the featured dance artist (Claire Guntrip).
The film’s title “Sidelined” is a term that describes her experience of being dismissed solely on the grounds of her being a woman during a situation in which her opinion was surpassed by a group of men who sought to control and dominate a heated situation.
We discussed her feelings at the time, as well as the after-effects on a person’s mental health after having endured belittling and sexist remarks, beliefs and behaviours.
Exploring her response to such an ordeal, Claire’s improvised movements were elicited through words that convey her genuine emotions at the time, those being vulnerability, frustration, insignificance and those of being rendered as an observer. We then juxtaposed these emotions with their counterparts, of taking control, and becoming empowered.
Dancer, improvisation – Claire Guntrip
Designer – Bethany McGriffiths
Art Direction, Filming and Music – Timothy Ward