Vanessa Fairfax Woods

“and so, I act cold”

The home is where the heart is. Where we feel safe, secure, can relax, be ourselves. However, women’s roles in the home aren’t quite as simple. Often split into roles of mother, wife, siren; women can find the domestic setting a minefield of stereotypes and prejudices that hark back centuries. ‘and so, I act cold’ investigates our struggles with motherhood, sexuality and beauty standards that are pressed onto us.

The home should be a place where women, free from the objectifying gaze of the outside, can adopt an authentic persona; but is this actually true? At heart, this project is an exploration of how we as women are confined to these roles. Can we choose what we want to show of ourselves, even in the home? Or are we always forced to adopt the roles that history has made for us? By being moulded into these ‘perfect’ women we often show our sexual allure but hide our intellect, politics or emotions as a way to ensure our presence is non-threatening. By cherry-picking what we show and what we hide, what sort of fragmented whole are we displaying? ‘and so, I act cold’ highlights the frustrations, absurdity and fragility of not showing one’s true self.

Vanessa Fairfax-Woods is a conceptual photographer based in the UK who works with the issues of gender inequality and feminism. Perceived empowerment versus actual empowerment are common themes in her work. Her work is performative, playful and subversive, choosing to approach serious issues with a humour that allows a conversation to open up, rather than shut it down.  She is a working member of the Association of Photographers and the Royal Photographic Society. Her work has been exhibited internationally and has been recognised by Lifeframer (Series Award Winner 2022), Sony World Photo Awards (Finalist 2022), Bird in Flight (Portfolio 2021), International Photography Awards (Honourable Mention 2021), AOP Student Awards (Finalist 2021), Tokyo International Foto Awards (Bronze, 2020). 

Sunday, June 26th – Wednesday, July 13th, 2022, 10am – 4pm daily, free entry

Click on the first photograph to start a slideshow (contains nudity)