SOFT SILK AND HARD FLESH | VICTORIA ROWLEY | GRACE VANE PERCY
There’s more than meets the eye when fabric artist Victoria Rowley poses with her own work.
Artists are rarely so comfortable in their skin as Victoria Rowley. Legs that are endlessly elegant (CHIC, two down) and a face of incomparable beauty, it’s a wonder that you haven’t come across her before. Perhaps it’s because she’s been up to her elbows in mysterious dyes, colouring silks and studiously creating undeniably erotic images, mixing images of the botanical with the male sex for the last few years. Now she’s managed to get the stains off her hands, she’s doing more than rolling up her sleeves to bring her creations to life.
Rowley gives a great deal of thanks to the photographer Grace Vane Percy in her development as an artist. The two have previously worked together. Rowley modelled as none other than the mistress of all things sex, Venus, for Vane Percy in 2011. Seeing herself romanticised and draped over surfaces like silk gave her an appreciation for her body that she would otherwise have never achieved. With this confidence, Rowley has draped herself once again, to complement her otherwise androcentric work. By joining her illustrations of erect phalluses on silk with her own body, she explores the complexities of female libido.
It would be too easy to dismiss Rowley’s work as capitalising on her own supernatural form. There is a depth to the message that she is learning to communicate and it is admirable that she commits to exploring her ideas with her own form in such a vulnerable and exposed way. This current project, entitled the Lamella and Pudenda series is ongoing, with an aim to complete 20 works this year. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one…
Victoria Rowley works to commission: http://www.victoria-rowley.com/
Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair: ART AND THE INTERIOR AESTHETIC: AN ANALYSIS OF DISPLAY IN THE ENGLISH STATELY HOME
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 – 16:00 to 17:00
Jeremy Musson – author of English Country House Interiors, How to Read a Country House and more
Christopher Vane Percy – Past President of the BIID and Past Regional Chairman of the Historic Houses Association
Grace Vane Percy – Acclaimed Photographer
A talk looking at the relationship between grand country houses and the art, textiles and sculpture they showcase.
English stately homes are exquisite places to live. They are also magnificent living museums. The collections within these historic houses embody the personal identity of the owners, expressing their taste and stature whilst demonstrating a continued patronage of the arts and artisans. But what is the relationship between these grand country houses and the art, textiles and sculpture they showcase? The discussion explores the intertwining history of Britain’s finest buildings as family homes and art galleries. The fusing of home and culture which carries right through to the modern day as it informs the interior design of properties for today’s wealthy and elite.
Jeremy Musson is an architectural historian, author, broadcaster and historian buildings consultant. His area of special interest for the past 20 years has been the history and design of the English country house – although he has also worked on other important buildings including cathedral churches and colleges. Architectural Editor of Country Life in 1998-2007, and presenter of BBC2’s The Curious House Guest in 2006-2007, he has written widely on historic and contemporary architecture and is author of several books including How to Read a Country House, English Country House Interiors, and The Drawing Room. Born in 1965, he lives in Cambridge with his wife and family.
After starting his career with Asprey, London, Christopher Vane Percy formed CVP Designs in 1971, operating from above its Mayfair showroom until the mid-eighties. Christopher Vane Percy is a Past President of British Institute of Interior Design and until June last year a board member of the BIID as Heritage and Environment Director. Until 2014 Christopher was also The Regional Chairman – East Anglia – of the Historic Houses Association, a five year appointment. In 2013 he was appointed a trustee of Moggerhanger Park, where he has been working using his formidable talents to breathe life into this Soane masterpiece.
Grace Vane Percy specialises in Female Nude portraiture, predominantly for private clients. In her work she combines the concept of the classical nude and traditional photographic technique to capture timeless images of female beauty. Her signature atmospheric, flattering lit portraits have made her name in this field. She trained at Central Saint Martin’s, before going to study fine art and the techniques of the Old Masters in Florence. At the end of 2014 Grace released her first book entitled ‘VENUS’ and enjoyed her first solo exhibition – the culmination of a four years worth of research and work, for which Grace was also responsible for all editing, layouts and oversight of the specialist print process.
Venus Event at Foyles: Wednesday 29th April 2015 7pm – 8:30pm
Please come along to Foyles at 107 Charing Cross Road Event:
Drawing from the classical tradition of the nude in art history, photographer Grace Vane Percy’s portraits of ordinary, extraordinary women seek to at once explore the naked female figure and to celebrate femininity and beauty in all forms.
At Foyles to discuss her collection Venus, a book of black and white film photographs of nudes juxtaposed against the backdrop of some of England’s most important stately homes, Percy will explore the classical tradition and its influence, the representation of women’s bodies and the significance of the goddess of beauty whose name inspires the selection.
Vane Percy’s work specializes in nude female portraiture, looking to empower her subjects and contextualize the mode within a wider art and photographic history. Invited to join the Women in Photography archive at Yale in 2004, Percy practices between London and New York, where she has shot in Matthew Brady’s original studio.
In conversation with Suzan Antonowicz, Head of International and Beauty at The Independent, David Fletcher, fine art and antiques valuer and regular on BBC show Flog It, and author and broadcaster Jeremy Musson, this is an insight into the work of a contemporary art practitioner and an exploration of the representation of women today.
A complimentary drink will be available for customers at this event. Book signing too!
Venue: The Auditorium at Foyles, Level 6, 107 Charing Cross Road
Tickets: FREE – BOOKING ESSENTIAL
Historic House Magazine January 2015
Venus Review: Historic House Magaizne
A wonderful review by Jeremy Musson in the current Spring Edition of Historic House Magazine.
Exhibition of Prints from VENUS at Patrick Jefferson December 2014
I’m thrilled to announce my first solo exhibition which will be hosted by Patrick Jefferson at 69 Pimlico Road, London from 5th – 13th December.
Please do come and take a look at the selection of limited edition silver gelatin, fibre based, hand prints from VENUS.
From October 31st My First Book VENUS will be available
Buy your copy of the limited edition VENUS now!
“Quartet’s latest photographic volume, Venus, is something of a treasure; beautifully produced with that elegance which will endure, notwithstanding the trends of the day.
The black and white images of female nudity set against backgrounds of exquisite art and shot with a discerning eye prove time and again that the feminine form in a proper environment is not only alluring, but has the kind of impact that defies any descriptive lexicon of words we choose to use.
The concept of the book is brilliantly executed, giving the reader a visual bonanza rarely experienced elsewhere. The book’s defused eroticism creates an art form which will dazzle all those who worship the glorious feminine structure of young women, directly contrasted in a setting embellished with artefacts by great artists from a different generation.
The master of ceremonies is the author/photographer Grace Vane Percy whose touch is so impressive and bereft of any pretentions. Her women are portrayed in their natural state, with their pubic hair so tastefully shown to put paid to any notion that such exposure is best concealed.
Grace truly epitomises her subject, with her long and shapely form, and revealing an irresistible capacity to understand and appreciate the sexual frisson that her photography imbibes. If she herself were in a reversal of roles, she could be even more stunning than her most vivacious models. And what a pity she isn’t…
This magnificent book is a Christmas gem. To miss it would be a cardinal sin that no one should ever wish to commit, so hurry along and order your copy now. Be amongst the first to celebrate its acquisition!”
Chairman, Quartet Books
NEXT BIG THING: GRACE VANE PERCY
Spabreaks.com is the largest spa recommendation service in the UK, with venues across the country and abroad, but month in The Hot Tub they like to interview a person the consider to be a rising star… and this month IT’S ME!! I was of course completely honoured to be asked a few questions by the lovely Bonnie Friend
Check out the interview:
Photographer, Grace Vane Percy, specialises in taking nude photos of women that rival the old masters for their painterly style. She talks to us about inspiration and the launch of her first book VENUS!
What are you up to at the moment?
I am working on a new project which has a slight retro feel, think 70s black and white nudes but with a mysterious quality. It’s a series of nudes with a more erotic element, but still very feminine – showing female sexuality in the kind of way every woman can relate to!
Where does your inspiration come from?
Women. The natural beauty and diversity of real women and the sculptural elements in every body. I enjoy finding the unique beauty in each woman I work with and showing that to them in a photograph.
Who’s your role model?
Lee Miller! Ever stylish, feminine and beautiful, but practical, hard working, talented and an exceptional photographer, she was as inspiring as she was inspired.
Who would play you in a movie?
Audrey Hepburn! Please.
What’s your earliest photography memory?
Photographing my Sylvanian Families with my father’s Polaroid camera! I used to make brochures for imaginary hotels with them and cut outs from the Country Life property section!
What’s the biggest lesson you have learned so far?
If you want something done properly do it yourself, and always keep going. When you make the space in your life for something you want and cut out the things which are just sapping your time and energy (even if they help you pay the bills), the thing you’re working towards will always come flooding in. It has been true for me every time.
When you’re not working on being the next big thing, what do you do to relax?
I love yoga and I also love to cook every day, I’m a vegetarian and love all the variety and delicious options. Recently I’ve been experimenting more with raw food, which has been amazingly yummy and very satisfying, my husband’s also surprised himself by enjoying the fruits of my labour too!
We encourage everyone to do one thing each week to be kind to themselves, what are you going to do this week to #bekindtoyou?
Someone said to me recently, you should always treat yourself as you would treat a child. I’m not quite managing that, but maybe if the weather’s nice I’ll buy myself a big ice cream!
Thanks to the talented Bonnie Friend & the Spabreaks team
Tatler October 2014
Full page teaser in this month’s Tatler ahead of next month’s feature! Thanks @Tatleruk team!
Tatler October 2014