Savana Ogburn is a young and gifted photographer, collage artist, and set designer based in Atlanta, Georgia. Discovered her through a feature on Out Magazine, I had a chance to chat with Savana about their aesthetic references, and their creative process.
Identifying as non-binary, Savana started making work when she was 15 contributing to the now closed magazine Rookie, aimed at young women and queer people. In the recent years, while studying her BFA photography at the Savannah Collage of Art and Design, Savana started to fall in love with the queer community, realising their own identity.
Savana’s practice, rooted in the desire of queering cis-heteronormative notions through the use of a pastel palette, is centered around performative identity and drag.
“I think about performative femininity a lot, and I think that kind of comes through in these, the ideas that we have about gender and the expectations and how you perform that and project it just through, just what you wear on a daily basis, or like me, what I wear on a daily basis, how I act, so that’s been inspiring, to push some of these concepts. But it is primarily process-driven, I think.” (Ogburn in The Photographic Journal)
Savana’s passion for drag sparked about 2,5 years ago during freshman year of college, and started by familiarising with the incredible local drag scene in Atlanta. Savana befriended drag artist Molly Rimswell, with whom she collaborated on the queer publication Wussy Mag.
The Chosen Family project was created in Summer 2018, when Molly told Savana that she and Mystery Meat had “adopted” as a drag child Video Tronic (“a conceptual problem child”, as Video Tronic stated in an interview with them. Mag).
Queerness is all about creating tight-knit families and enduring bonds to dismantle patriarchal societal structures, and to celebrate “otherness”. The Haus of Rimswell has then stemmed from an authentic, unique relationship, developed through participating to the Atlanta-based competition Glitz at East Atlanta bar Mary’s. Working together as a drag family is a form of making other people with whom they connect feel safe and secure.
Chosen Family, shot in a very painterly style, draws on baroque references and the aesthetic of French duo Pierre et Gilles: the photos have been printed off, hand-painted, and digitally collaged by Savana.
Next up, Valentine’s Day Fantasy was a shot commissioned for them Mag by Savana’s friend and writer Stevie King. “Stevie wanted to write a piece centered around queer people’s Valentine Day’s rituals”, Savana remembered.
The project, featuring Molly Rinswell, fashion-marketing major Christopher Parungao, model Mark Rayvon, and Youtuber sensation and writer Iv Fischer, centers around queer fantasy, gender expression, and self-love.
To conclude, Eve is a photographic project in collaboration with Iv Fischer, Marie Snider, and Mystery Meat and serves the purpose of rewriting and revisiting the biblical story of Adam and Eve from a trans perspective.
To delve deep into this dream-like queer fantasy, check Savana’s website or Instagram.