Working with Zoe is always an adventure – ‘come on’, she says, as I try and find my flip-flops and follow her out through the grounds of the enormous rainforest estate. The other thing it always is is laid back. I love this about Zoe – the shoots just unfold and you see what turns up. In this case, what turned up was an urge in Zoe to find a massive rainforest leaf or two and relieve the trees of them especially for me to hold. It’s quite an honour to touch such big leaves – they’re truly Jurassic. Another thing was a desire to erect a black backdrop in the middle of the rainforest – it was one of the most surreal ‘studios’ I’ve posed in; snakes and spiders almost certainly all around us, hiding out and wondering what on earth we were doing, whispering to each other in Strayan.
I think Zoe’s photography is beautiful – it seems to focus on the strength and power of women and her subjects often look like superheros you wouldn’t want to mess with (not to say she doesn’t capture the softness too), and through her (mostly) yearly retreats which have been running since 2002 all over the globe, bringing wonderful people together, she’s created quite a phenomenon. I have loved attending the last several years and made some really good friends. Long live inter-border art-making in cool environments! 🙂
The first few are with Carlotta, Elilith, Anne, Brooke, Tara, Cheyanne, Titania and Jessamyn (who are all brilliant women, from various continents, who I love hanging out with).
In some of the below, my hair is wet from posing under the indoor waterfall, as one does.
(that’s me with my leg in the air!)
… Has always been a favourite line of mine, apparently uttered by someone really jaunty and clever, and on my bedroom wall for a while (possibly still there), though when I google it I can’t find any credit, so who knows? Anyway, I like it, and it always bring to mind my favourite musical beast, the piano. (Various vids of me messing around with Debussy etc. over on my facebook profile).
So when I was asked by the lovely model Nicole Rayner if I would go and model for her (because she’s also a lovely photographer as well as a lovely model) at Pipewell Hall, I couldn’t resist. I’d shot there a couple of times with the Yerburys and remembered how beautiful it was as a shoot location (I like to pretend I’m mansion-shopping when passing through). Anyway, I’d had a play on the very old grand piano they’ve got there as soon as I arrived, while I was waiting for Nicole & Richard Egan to be ready to photograph me/us, and played the music that was on the stand, Moonlight Sonata, while people bustled in and out. I dream of having a grand piano. No offence to my own upright, which I inherited from my great aunt, but they are just so utterly beautiful.
Pianos are also quite good for leaning across, I suppose. It was slightly naughty of us, I think, but I have so much respect for pianos, even when nude, that I hope they would be able to trust that I treated it very well. With many thanks to Nicole who basically did these as a favour to me at the very end of our shoot, at my insistence, as I fell in love (she had to balance very precariously in order to get far away enough to take these, due to the position of it, so extra points to her for not falling on top of me):
We also did this in the garden shed (AKA stables?)…
And if anyone is wondering what else I’ve been up to recently, take a look at this: www.leafology.co.uk!
…. Latest images of me from the wonderful Tony Ornstien, with thanks.
Well, mix up Helmut Newton (his nudes all around me on the walls at this location) and A God of Small Things (excellent and playful book, studied at uni, fatefully spotted on photographer’s shelf) and you somehow get a very Sunday-at-home sort of feeling; reading and brewing tea on the stove… Today’s update is from two (of several) scenes shot by Tony Ornstien recently. Continue reading