Tag Archives: nude art

Give me Hope.

29 Feb

I had an interesting blog written out yesterday, all about how people and their bodies evolve. I’m going to post it below but I had some frustrating and upsetting news today that I’d like to tell you about.

First, here is a picture by PWP images.
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Many of you know that I am childfree and should I want to become a mother, I will adopt. Since last year, I have been actively pursuing sterilisation. That is because the usual methods of contraception are not suitable for me due to family medical history. Believe me, I have researched all of my options and sterilisation is, for me, the way to go. As The Authorities are reluctant to sterilise any woman under 30, I have made sure every time I visit the doctor for anything at all, they put it on record that my mind has not changed.
Last year when I made the usual request, the doctor gasped “but WHY don’t you want CHILDREN??” This was followed by “what if your partner wants them?” I hope I don’t need to explain how offensive this is.
I demanded to be referred to the hospital and a different doctor did so. Two months later, I had my hospital appointment, successfully convinced the team there that I was of sound mind and had done my research, so the hospital approved me.

I just had the letter back. Funding denied.๐Ÿ˜ฅ

I honestly thought I’d finally convinced them, but it seems that a decade of consistency and valid medical reasons (not to mention environmental reasons) are still not enough to convince doctors that I can make this decision. This has devastated me.
If I had been unsuccessfully trying to GET pregnant for the past ten years, doctors would be falling over themselves to help me. In a world that is vastly overpopulated, if I can be trusted at age 28 to choose to have a child, I should be trusted to choose NOT to.

Now, at the time I opened the letter, I happened to be listening to Eddy Grant (Gimme Hope Jo’Anna) and remembered that my country does not have apartheid. I’m not at risk of FGM. I am not starving. If I am pregnant by a rapist, I am not forced by law to keep the baby. I told myself off and tried to write off my fury and frustration as “white girl problems”, but the thing is, I don’t think I should.
Yes, other women suffer horrendous indignities and torture, are denied basic contraception, denied abortion- the Marie Stopes website even has a special section for Irish women- but just because England is better developed than some countries, this does not negate the fact that The Authorities still consider women incapable of making certain choices. I have very publically supported the idea that women worldwide should have the rights to their own bodies. This includes my own country too!

Doctors may remind women that their pregnancy is risky (obesity-related for example) but these women are not denied their choice to become pregnant. As I have said, there are medical reasons why sterilisation is best for me yet every time I explain, doctors still try to push unsafe hormonal options on me. When will I be considered old enough to know my own mind and body? 30? 40? 50?
28 is a perfectly respectable age to decide to have children; no doctor would remind a 28 year old pregnant woman that having children is permanent- that they are just too young to make such a decision. So why is my choice any less valid? Yes, it’s permanent, I am aware of that. I was aware when I asked for a referral, I was aware in the hospital, and I am aware now. Yet every time I have returned to the doctors, I am still asked if I know that sterilisation is permanent!

Of course, I’ll fight this. Of course I’ll appeal. But let me address questions I’ve been asked a few times:
Is it expensive? Can’t you go private?
It’s around ยฃ1500 in England but yes, I can go private. However, this is a matter of principle. I shouldn’t have to pay for the correct medical treatment for me, just because doctors won’t grant me the same respect they do women who make a more culturally acceptable choice.

But being childfree is unusual…
Not really. Around 20% of women over 40 are childfree. They aren’t all infertile and wishing for a miracle! I’m sure that if it wasn’t such a long-winded frustrating procedure, more women would apply for sterilisation. (There are certain notable other situations that work the same way- the path ahead being frustrating, painful, possibly traumatic, so most women don’t choose to take it…) *raises eyebrow* Why is it that the law is so geared against women?
I should mention here that men are generally not asked about the wishes of hypothetical future partners or told they are too young to have a vasectomy.

What if you sued the hospital?
What if I got pregnant or had children, regretted it and tried to sue the hospital for not sterilising me when I asked!? Give me any form and I’ll sign it- I take responsibility for my decision.

This is me banging my head against the wall. Photo by PWP images.
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I think I’ve said all I can for now. If you have any questions, I will do my best to answer and if you are a childfree woman (or man) who has struggled to get doctors to accept this, please feel free to tell your story in the comments. It’s time we came out of the woodwork! Like this! (photos by Ghost Light)
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On to some really nice stuff…๐Ÿ˜‰

I was thinking yesterday about the way people think about life and personal development. We tend to see things in a straight line pointing ‘onwards and upwards’ but from what I’ve seen, we go through the same growth spurts as we do in puberty, only internally and for the rest of our lives (hopefully). I certainly hope I’m still a work-in-progress! At age 14, I was pro-life and just four years before that- before I realised I also liked the ladies- I was pretty homophobic too! It took moving away and meeting people to change what I thought I knew.

The past year has felt like a huge growth spurt. One of my personal mottos is “never leave an experience empty-handed” and there are some things both good and bad that I’m sure I’ll look back on and think “yes, that moment changed my life”.
Even on the superficial levels, I’m always discovering new things about myself- who knew I liked tales about real-life gangsters? Who knew I’d start doing gladness meditations? Who knew I’d end up so willing to get my hands dirty? Right now I’m covered in coal dust from doing my fire and I have been unfathomably gross after certain photoshoots. I think my ‘ick’ tolerance level rose after I started doing so much work on my boat. Paint, goopy varnish, boatyard dust etc.
Even my body is changing. Not drastically and no surgery so worry not, but I am becoming more muscular. I love my action hero women and as my basic shape is quite comic-book (big thighs, hips and bust, small waist) I’m working on emphasising it!
Even while I do that, other friends of mine are doing the opposite! One of my favourite people, model and performer Elegy Ellem has been famous not only for her talent, tattoos and unique look, but for her boobs. And she’s just made a drastic change. Even if you don’t care about miss Ellem’s boobs (and she prefers it if you don’t), watch this video becase she’s a wise and beautiful goofball and her smile will make you smile too!๐Ÿ˜›
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9NhJWTfzu8

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I’m going to go and watch Terminator 2 in a sec, because it rocks and a cinnamon cream latte is calling my name but let me just share a series of photos by PWP images. To me, they perfectly illustrate my feelings about evolving and us all being works-in-progress. Sometimes we don’t leave our ‘past selves’ behind. Sometimes we don’t emerge from a situation in a glorious phoenix blaze. Sometimes we’re just moving and that movement is beautiful in itself.

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ROSWELL xxx

Tales of a Naked Girl

19 Jan

-โŒgarethbyrd.Roswell-II.012
How can I explain the pride I feel in my work? Immersed as I am in my job and its accompanying social circle, I forget that some people see a bimbo or someone with very little self-respect when they learn I’m a nude model. My jokes about public nudity and nitpicky remarks about bondage in films (โ€œseriously, anyone could get out of that!โ€) aren’t ‘got’, and there’s an assumption that seedier things go on than I let on. The idea of reference checking and talk of ‘levels’ provokes a knee-jerk horror that such talk is necessary. But don’t we all assess the possible dangers our lives bring us? It isnโ€™t that we think trouble is imminent but that we want to be ready in case: to expect the best but prepare for the worst.
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I’m immensely proud of my work! Perhaps even more so because I know that it will not last forever. I have no intention of modelling for the rest of my life and have another career plan in mind, but I cherish the best parts and memories this crazy life is giving me.

My job puts me in touch with creative people on a daily basis. I’ve learned about things outside my circle of interests because almost everyone I work with has a story. My three best ‘industry’ friends are the most different women you could imagine but each of them has taught me a new perspective on life, shared my adventures and brought me on theirs- and I met all three through modelling.
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I see the world! I’ll be forever grateful for the experiences this is bringing me, the people I’m meeting and the independence I’ve found. I’m not afraid to travel alone or not speak the language. If I’m stranded I can always find a way home or at least to safety. I’m confident in strange situations and have a pretty good ‘weirdo-radar’! I love to share my life with friends and fellow travellers, but also enjoy the peace a simple walk in a new place brings me.
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Concerning the ‘naked’ bit, I’m proud to have a healthy attitude to nudity- my body does not bring me shame merely by being uncovered.
More than this, nude figures have been used in art for centuries! I walk through the London galleries and see women like me, who have been immortalised for the world to look at forever, as art. I feel a kind of connection to these women- a hint of the camaraderie I find among other nude models.
In this digital age when something placed on the internet is there forever, I hope that our work will continue to inspire people, and that maybe in the far future when people are creating interactive holograms (!) or whatever, that modern nude models may feel that connection to me and the other old-fashioned ‘photo girls’.๐Ÿ˜‰
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I’m a huge sci-fi/action/fantasy fan but always meant to write a blog about films concerning nude modelling, so here you go- an extra bit!

Calendar Girls
It’s a comedy with Helen Mirren, Julie Walters and Penelope Wilton, and is based on true events. A middle-aged Women’s Institute group raises money for charity by making a nude calendar- and creates scandal, of course.
The idea that modelling teaches a very linear view of what is beautiful is an easy assumption to make and to an extent, it’s true (you’re either thin and striking or curvy and sexy) BUT visiting galleries and meeting older nude models has taught me to see beauty another way. I know I won’t be able to make a living from modelling forever, but if someone wants to photograph me nude at age sixty, bring it on!
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Mona Lisa Smile
I don’t like Julia Roberts, but I love Maggie Gyllenhaal and Julia Stiles. Kirsten Dunst is there too, with a teeny look at Tori Amos and Jane in Breaking Bad before she went all junkie.๐Ÿ˜› It’s about an art teacher in the 50s who tries to teach her very traditional students that the ‘lifescript’ is an option and not a necessity.
There isn’t much nude modelling, but there is a scene in which the teacher takes her students to see an abstract painting and says โ€œI want you to consider it. You don’t have to write about it, you don’t even have to like it. What you do have to do is consider it.โ€
There will always be people who step back from me and my work because it’s outside their experience (and therefore comfort zone). That is what I want to say to those people.
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I Capture the Castle
The book is better and not so bloody soppyย  (I’m re-reading it right now) though the writing and interaction between the characters still makes me laugh. Romola Garai, Bill Nighy, Rose Byrne and Tara Fitzgerald are a bohemian family of artists living in a crumbling old castle in the 1930s. Bill Nighy’s character has dreadful writers block, while Tara Fitzgerald’s character is a nude artists model who is the breadwinner for the family.
Gorgeous styling- and it makes me want my very own nude modelling castle.
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Sirens
Saw it by accident when I was about eleven. Whoops…
By most accounts it’s pretty dreadful as a film, but there can be a sexy side to nude modelling and the feeling of being in a completely different (and bonkers) world. Hugh Grant (ugh) and Tara Fitzgerald (you again!) visit Sam Neill, who plays an artist living in Australia with his family and personal collection of models (Elle MacPherson, Portia De Rossi and Kate Fischer).
I’m dying to go to Australia and recreate the scene in the last five seconds of the film: four of the models are standing on a high cliff being siren-like while Australia stretches into the background looking all idyllic. On a multi-model shoot, the joking and debates around the dinner table are pretty standard- you have to be comfortable not just with your own body but everyone else’s- though generally we don’t get all sexy to embarrass the new girl.๐Ÿ˜›
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Mrs Henderson Presents
I love you, Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins (even if I did kill you by accident). It’s based on a true story about a rich widow who buys a theatre and opens a vaudeville production featuring nude women and Will Young (who’s actually pretty good!) Beautiful wartime/vintage styling and costume design!
I watched a mini-documentary about the film the other day- the producers invited the โ€œMillerettesโ€- the original nude artists from the Windmill Theatre- to be consultants and to tell their stories. Glamourous eighty year old women proudly said that they could still do some of the dances and reminisced over their show days together.
When I’m old and wrinkly and my tits reach my ankles, I want to be able to look back at my nude modelling days and be just as proud, on my sofa surrounded by cats and chocolate and my just-as-wrinkly nude modelling friends.๐Ÿ™‚
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Roswell xxx

p.s. sneak preview at my next blog, in which I go on an adventure in a crypt with one of the UK’s best known “Adventure Photographers”๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m being sewn into my dress…
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p.p.s. Photography credits (in order):
Gareth Byrd
Rares Pulbere
Jonasbee
Sylvie Blum
John Duder
Artrotika
Gregory Brown (x2)
Max Operandi
Charles Van Trappen
Rebecca Bathory

Another magical forest

14 Jan

I never get fed up of shooting in forests- every few weeks, I get an entirely new backdrop to interact with and new plants and creatures to look for- especially when I’m shooting outside of the UK.
Last time I visited the Netherlands, I found wild boar, red squirrels, nuthatches (I think) and deer. I also discovered Dutch pancakes. Not a creature, I know, but still seriously amazing.๐Ÿ˜‰

I got these pictures from Frits aka Studio3nl a little while ago but didn’t have the chance to post them up! So here you go- it was a beautiful day, if a little muddy. Though we tried hard to be discreet, we did nearly cause a man to fall off his bicycle, which made me nearly fall off the tree stump I was posing on!! Utterly hilarious- it was a multi-quadruple-take, as he kept swinging back off his seat just to check I wasn’t a figment of his imagination, LOL!!

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Wish me luck- I’m about to head South (hopefully ahead of the snow) for some outdoor nudes… though hopefully my “Narnia coat” will get another outing too…๐Ÿ˜‰

Got to dash!

ROSWELL xxx

The strength of the earth

28 Dec

I’m on holiday! I’m enjoying it.๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been eating all sorts of Christmas crap, having marathon ‘Lie To Me’ sessions, cuddling my cat and planning my projects for next year. I’m getting a bit restless actually so am about to start making new outfits for shoots and looking into my next career…

I’ve also been sent so many images and tearsheets recently- I’ll post them one at a time.๐Ÿ™‚

My recent article (about the ins and outs of latex) in Rebelicious magazine features photos of me in some seriously awesome latex. (Credits on the page)๐Ÿ˜€

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I’ve also had images back from one of the most beautiful locations I’ve ever shot in! During last year’s South Coast tour (I’ll be back in the area from March 12th-26th), I worked with Imagesse. He sent me some images from the various locations in advance of the shoot so I was very excited about it.
It was freezing so I spent most of the morning running around in naked circles to warm up before climbing around rocks, watched by perplexed sheep. After a lunch break (and a few minutes spoiling some friendly ponies), the sun came out and we climbed down into the valley amid gnarled trees like little moss-covered Ents (Lord of the Rings), toward a stream with stepping stones. As the sun shone through the tree line, I saw the tiniest rope swing. What an amazing thing to be able to visit the place and fly through the air whenever I fancied! One day…

Coincidentally, I was watching Sherlock the other day and could have sworn they filmed at one of the same locations! (It’s the episode called ‘Hounds of Baskerville’ if you’re interested. It’s a great show!)

Anyway, if a picture really is worth one thousand words, I’ll stop waffling and show you these…๐Ÿ˜‰

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And this one’s more of an outtake, but I quite like it! I think it was part of my “get warm” dance routine, lol!
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While I enjoy improving my flexibility, I do love shots where I’m curled up on things.๐Ÿ™‚

Keep an eye out for my next blog- I learned a lot this year, did a lot, and am excited about my plans for 2013. You can even be part of them! As I say… keep watching and subscribe by clicking on the link at the right if you’d like an automatic update!๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I’ll speak to you very soon,

ROSWELL xxx

p.s. To the very kind fans who bought me a gift from my Amazon wishlist, thankyou so, so much. It means a lot to me that you thought of me this Christmas. I’m looking forward to reading the books and wearing the clothes, which you’ll see very soon.๐Ÿ™‚