• Words
  • Words and Photography Gracie Brackstone

Photographer Gracie Brackstone provides us with exclusive images from two of her recent photobooks, Life’s a Parade and Shared Dreams for NOTION 95.

Life’s a Parade is a photobook I self-published last year: the book became a diary, documenting my highs and lows. After my mum passed away in 2021, it was my own way of showing my younger sister Penny that I was always thinking of her, even when I wasn’t home. Taking photos has since become my own way to live in the present and to cherish my emotions, as well as deal with my grief.  


My photos mainly take place in Manchester, with my friends being the stars of my show. Living amongst my queer community and through protesting, dancing and dressing up, I feel we have found ways to connect with our inner children and to take life less seriously, finding some peace and a beautiful chaos within each other.  


Whilst working on my first book, I began an art collective called Art Is Coming (@artiscomingcollective on Instagram) as a way to regain the meaning of creating work. The collective aims to give minority groups from lower income backgrounds a space to tell the world they deserve to make art, despite the cost-of-living crisis saying otherwise. A lot of these images are from shows, or photoshoots that we constructed. I am still trying to figure out where I want to go with the collective; it has come to a bit of a halt right now due to financial difficulties, but our shows so far have taken us to venues like The Tate Liverpool, VF Dalston, Hidden Night club and so on. We are really hoping to get back to the art of protesting soon.  


It was last summer when I began working on Shared Dreams, an unpublished photobook and love letter to my best friends. This book shows me attempting to balance trying to become an artist, who can actually make a living and having fun. It’s set mainly in Cheetham Hill, where my favourite clubs and community is based. The White Hotel, Hidden and The DBA are real safe spaces that become homes for those who don’t know where they quite belong! The book stemmed from dreaming as a collective, sitting down with friends and imagining your lives together. My dream currently is to keep creating books that represent chapters in my life.