Tag Archives: Paris

Paris.

14 Nov

Leo Tolstoy said that all happy families are alike but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, and I think that’s bollocks. I travel all the time and every country I’ve visited (if you think of it as a family) has its own character, rules, quirks and individuality. I have friends and acquaintances all over the world including people from countries that have been affected by terrorism. Americans who saw the towers fall. A Norwegian who waited to hear if her daughter had been shot by Anders Breivik. I was in London with a friend on the day of the 7/7 bombings. Right now, I have friends from Paris who are suffering. (Not to mention all of the people NOT in or from Paris, waiting to hear if their loved ones are alive.)
You know what? The attacks may have been different but every single person I know affected by terrorism has been asking the same questions and suffering the same way: Why kill innocent people? Why use the cover of religion? What do people do? How can we fight in this age of technology? Why? Why? Why?
To quote Tolkien (or King Theoden): “What can we do against such reckless hate?”

I don’t know.

As I was working on this blog but didn’t want to ignore everything that has happened in the meantime, I changed my facebook profile to the French colours but merely doing this and saying you’ll pray is, in my opinon, not the best thing you can possibly do. “Raising awareness” is a social media construct that I’ll blog about another day. We are all aware right now. So I had a look online to find out of there was anything more than prayers and flags to share. If you’re posting on social media, here are things you can include:

– The Foreign Office helpline. (This is for those with family and friends they wish to check on.) 020 7008 1500
– Donate to the relief appeal through the French Red Cross or Medicins sans Frontieres (doctors without borders)
– If you are local to Paris, donate blood. (Obviously, a lot of people have gunshot wounds).
– Share #PorteOuverte (“open door”). Parisians are opening their homes to stranded people. Others are now using it around the world for people who are stranded due to these events.

I’m safe. My friends and family are safe. I cannot imagine what it is like to wait for news right now. I am not Paris. But I am horrified and frightened as I leave for Belgium in a few hours- by coach, through London, the Channel Tunnel and France. Well done, terrorists- you have terrified me. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going. That doesn’t mean you’ve won. While you watch the news and congratulate yourself on your bloodshed, look for the aid workers. Look for the good people. They’re right there onscreen and there are more of us than there are of you.

You are in my thoughts and prayers, Paris.

ROSWELL xxx

p.s. As this blog is a quote-y blog, here’s another:
“Whoever kills an innocent person it is as if he has killed all of humanity”
The Qu’ran

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Tales of a Naked Girl

19 Jan

-⌐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 (“seriously, anyone could get out of that!”) 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 isn’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’. 😉
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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. 😛 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 “I 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.”
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 soppy  (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. 😛
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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 “Millerettes”- 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. 🙂
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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” 😉 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

Roswell Ivory vs The Eiffel Tower

6 Aug

Wow, that last post went down a storm! 😉 (If you haven’t seen it yet- or a certain photographer’s response, it is well worth a read.)
So hello to my new viewers and subscribers! It’s nice to have you here- feel free to leave a comment below. 😀

Anyway… I went to Paris in May.

I stayed with my friends Sophie (HMSlatex) and Mathieu (Mathieu Richardoz)- and Punky the cat. Thanks guys, you rocks my socks.
While I was out there, I worked with Sylvie Blum on one of the coolest (and earliest) photoshoots I’ve ever done! It was a very early start and after some door-related trouble (“je suis desolee pour le derrangement a cinq heures ce matin”)* I fell onto the pavement to wait for the driver. We had a driver. 😀
I wasn’t actually sure where we were going to be shooting- just that it was going to be outdoors and at 5am, I assumed it would be for the sunrise. Was not enlightened when the location was described in French (I can speak a bit of French, until I talk to a French person. Then, THIS happens.)

Driver: So first we’re going to [French] and then stopping by [French]. Right?
Sylvie: That’s right. I also think we should check out [French].
Roswell: hmm… I understood the word “the”. *Chats with Sylvie and driver, while looking out of the window*
Ooh, it’s the Eiffel Tower! Prettyprettypretty… wait, why are we stopping?

It was early and freezing but wow, I was one seriously happy English lady. Having had some truly awful teenage years, I still have to pinch myself occasionally during photoshoots- the idea that I could be modelling, and travelling the world to do so wouldn’t have even occurred to me at a time when my greatest dream was to be happy in my own skin and allowed to be so by others.

So here I am: in these pictures, the happiest woman in the world.

On to the next location: I’m afraid I don’t know where this is. When I tried to describe the building to Mathieu, he reminded me that I was in Paris: EVERYTHING is pretty with pillars and sticky-out bits. 😉
If you can tell me where the heck I am, that would be great. Thanks in advance!

There are more photos to come. We also visited the Arc De Triomf and The Pont du Alexandre III…

Articles, nude photos, and even… clothed photos(!) coming soon.

ROSWELL xxx

* “I am sorry for the disturbance at five this morning”