There are a few places around the world that feel like coming home for us. They say that home is where the heart is. I think this is true. Our memories of places and events are inextricably entwined with the people we met and the experience we had. It's quite something to recognise that 'going home' feeling as we make our way to an event thousands of miles from our actual home. It's very much a sensation of going home and seeing old friends. Though it's always a bit of a downer to have to go back to everyday life after having a great time there's always that thought of next time. The year will soon be drawing to a close. Next year we get to go home again, and again...
I've been very lucky recently to get to work with some incredible people. Most recently it was a privilege and a pleasure to work with the American director and veteran of the Avant-garde Robert Wilson and with the model for one of Wilson's video portraitsportraits, Lady Gaga who I had the pleasure of tying and suspending. The result of this I'm blown away to say is a portrait that is now hanging in every sense in the Louvre gallery in Paris as part of Robert Wilson's Living Rooms installation. The installation will be at the Louvre till February 17, 2014 I had this opportunity only due to the kindness and good will of a very great friend. I consider myself very fortunate to have been a part of this and to have worked with so many great and talented people.
Are you scared yet? A film by Raindance raw talent directed by Ate de Jong Earlier this year I had an amazing experience working on a new film. This full length feature thriller features some shibari rope bondage. It was my great pleasure to be able to supply this for the movie. The first showing of this movie will be on Monday September 30th at 9:00pm A home invasion irrevocably changes the lives of all involved in ways neither victims nor perpetrator could have imagined. The showing is on the Monday immediately following the London Festival of the Art of Japanese Bondage in London. It was an amazing experience being involved in a project like this and to work with so many wonderful people. I'm not going to give away anything that happens in the film. You'll just have to wait and see. More updates running up to and after the first festival showing.
Some time ago we had the pleasure of doing some Shibari and being interviewed by DarkFrameFilms. There's an interview with me too but I think first everyone will be much more interested in seeing an interview with the lovely Clover. Also featured is some footage from our performances in Moscow in April 2013.
Well we've arrived! I'll write more about this trip as it unfolds but for now... Well it's kind of an unbelievable fairyland vibe. Good flight, got out in the snow and down the street to get some food and coffee. This is the view as we return to the hotel. It's an experience!
OK so the cases are nearly packed, the show music is nearly ready, we even have a bit of an idea what might be in the show itself. We've got thankfully minimal teaching to do and a good chance of socialising this year. So if you want to buy us dinner.... ;) I'm kind of wondering how this years festival will go, as it will be very different to last year. I hope just as good but different. Looking forward to this one stirs up memories from the last one too. The video below features some of the artists from last years festival. London Festival of the Art of Japanese Bondage from Hellan Judd. Anyway our list of 'one or two' things to do in the morning before we set out has grown considerably... If you're going, we'll see you there soon, come and say hello.
I have to say that I'm not normally nervous performing. I really look forward to it and the rush of doing bondage with clover on stage. London was the first time I've really felt anything other than excited. Nervous is probably not the right word though. Certainly feeling an edge that I hadn't before though. I pretty much put this down to the people I knew would be watching. Osada Steve, Hajime Kinoko, Kazami Ranki etc. from Japan and friends from the UK. We had no concrete plan for the performance, just an idea about how to start and a rough idea of the finish. Everything in between being done on the fly. I think wracking is a good word for it. It wasn't flawless but we got through. Once it was finished I can't describe the feelings. Everyone was very kind in their comments. Kinoko describing it as "Very sadistic" and "Hot" was so great. Learning via interpreter that Kazami Ranki liked the performance was another incredible thrill. And finally Osada Steve liking the show and very generously giving me a few tips to improve on the final day was a great bonus for us. He also praised Clover very much as a model and commented on her strength. She makes me very proud.
Pictures from the shoot with restrained elegance are now online on their site. Please visit Restrained Elegance and see for yourselves. Please bear in mind that I didn't do all the bondage on this page and proper credit is due to all the riggers that worked on these images. Having said that I hope mine are reasonably easy to identify. (Hint: there are clues in the text) This was a real pleasure and I think you can see why Ariel Anderssen is such a great person to work with.
I had the pleasure recently of working for a rather different type of bondage site, Restrained Elegance we were shooting for two days at their studio. I have to say that they were great to work for and spending two days tying up a model like Ariel Anderssen wasn't any kind of a hardship and sometimes you have to ask yourself, "Do I really get paid to do this?", the answer is yes, yes I do! I'm really looking forward to seeing the results of this shoot. I think some images will make it into their free section so I'll post a link when they're published. I don't think people realise how hard a bondage model can work sometimes. Ariel was tied many times over the two days in various positions including some suspensions and had some considerable rope marks by the end of it. She really is a superb model to work with and I sincerely recommend that serious photographers take a look at hiring this superb professional. One think I want to mention is the tremendous hospitality shown to me on this shoot. The whole experience of working with them was a pleasure. I suppose I could recount all the ties but my description wouldn't do justice to the model or the photography so you would be better served to check out the images when they're published.