Nude portraiture

SOFT SILK AND HARD FLESH | VICTORIA ROWLEY | GRACE VANE PERCY

THE EROTIC REVIEW

3rd February 2016

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

Olympia 2015

Start Time:
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 – 16:00 to 17:00
Speakers:
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.

Speakers’ Biographies: 

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 HouseEnglish 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.

Tatler November 2014

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November Tatler UK 2014

November Tatler UK 2014

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Thanks Tatler for this month’s most amazing spread! No less than eight pages!

Film’s Not Dead: A Helping Hand For VENUS

Grace Vane Percy - Newby Hall

London based photographer Grace Vane Percy has been creating a beautiful body of work over a number of years where she has been exploring the Venus poses & the female body. Her work has been shot on mostly medium format film as well as some 7×5 sheet film. Vane Percy is now looking for funding to help her put this project into a book:

“I have been working on this self-funded project for over four years and it’s finally ready to be published. With your support and generosity, all this planning and work can finally be brought out into the real world. Shot mainly on medium format B&W film in some of the UK’s most celebrated country houses, my series of 54 unique images and 15,000 words of text is completed. Locations include famous and historically significant houses, from Alnwick Castle, where Harry Potter was filmed, to Castle Howard where Brideshead was revisited twice. The photographs combine the female form with architecture in a manner never before seen. The halls, of Houghton and Holkham, the gallery of Newby Hall, as well as follies and fountains provide the perfect setting.

Venus is the mother of all female nudity in art. She is known for her ethereal beauty, which transcends mere desire. With the advent of photography this disassociation from the mortal world became difficult to execute. In this series, the concept of perfect encapsulation of female beauty is reclaimed and represented for the modern world.

The result will be a full-color (for richness & depth of tonal quality), black and white, litho laser press printed book, on finest quality paper saddle bound, hard-back, coffee table book.” 

FilmsNotDead.

Thank you Film’s not Dead, I’m such a fan! It’s a real honour to be featured.

Soft Soft Screams Magazine’s First Featured Erotic Photographer Photographer: Grace Vane Percy Erotic Ballet Collection

Grace Vane Percy C-10

Fine Art Erotic Photography Ultra-Creative Photography Exquisite lighting and beautiful composition creates an alluring image. These are just a few of the criteria needed to be selected in Soft Screams Magazine’s special collection of Fine Art Photography. 

“Our primary mission is to assist more in the re-structuring of the photography industry as we know it today. More than ever, photographers require marketing and promotions of their talents and visions. Soft Screams Magazine is just one of several to be started Photography Magazines, each specializing in a niche of photography styles.

It is our secondary mission to educate people on the artistic beauty of Erotic Photography, one image at a time and to educate photographers and laypersons on the significant differences between  the poor quality and sexually indulgent nature behind pornographic pics, and the artistry behind Erotic Photography.

Soft Screams Magazine is an adult Erotic Photography Magazine, formatted in a  blog-a-zine style with comments, tips, and insights provided by Soft Screams Magazine’s Editor-In-Chief Belladonna Del Rio.  Soft Screams Magazine features images that our editors, and viewers submit for the entertainment and education of the world. We scour through thousands of photographs a day to bring  to you what Soft Scream Magazine  considers to be the artistic best of the best of Erotic Photography.” Soft Screams Magazine

Grace Vane Percy is their FIRST Featured Artist! Thank you Belladonna Del Rio.

A Baby on Board Blog Feature Sept 2013

BabyOnBoard

Freelance digital PR consultant, community manager, writer AND young mum Gillian Crawshaw posed this question to her readers:

“Would you pose nude when pregnant?

Did you take lots of bump shots when you were pregnant? I was thrilled when I finally started showing mid-way through the second trimester, took loads of my own photos and even had some taken for Pregnancy & Birth magazine. I’m fully clothed in all of them though, and looking back now I do think I would like to have a record of what my actual bump looked like under all those winter layers.

How about you; did you take any photos with a lot less clothes on when you were expecting – or would you be tempted to next time round?

I’m writing about this – fully clothed and happily not with child at the moment – because it’s the question that sprang to mind when I was contacted by the lovely Grace Vane Percy, a London-based nude female portraiture (how’s that for a job title?). She works within the classical tradition of the nude, aiming to produce portraits that celebrate women’s natural femininity and beauty. She specialises in pregnancy photo shoots; her black and white photos of pregnant women are beautiful, and have even featured in Harpers Bazaar.

Grace’s email got me thinking, and I took to Twitter to ask a group of my favourite mums what they thought about posing nude when pregnant. It’s a question that generated a lot of strong opinions, ranging from the no, never in a million years, to maybe…next time, to no, but I really wish I had.

The more I think about it, the more I’m in the maybe…next time category. I do think I’d like to have a proper record this time, especially not taken by myself after lots of faffing around with my iPhone self timer (although I doubt I’d put the photos on the wall or post any online). And if I love my pregnant body as much the second time round, why not?

So, what do you think…would you?”

Harper’s Bazzar ROYAL BABYWATCH: WEEK 31

HBazaar

Recent new mother Rebecca Newman has been following the course of the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy with week by week advice on what to expect when you’re expecting. 

As the Duchess of Cambridge approaches her due date, so Royal Babywatch draws to its close. As Kate prepares for the last push – forgive me –  Royal Babywatch concludes with a round up of the last details which will help her ease stylishly and confidently into motherhood. We wish her, and her infant, every happiness.

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The lissom Grace Vane Percy works transatlantically, specialising in the female nude; her granular black and white signature style is especially suited to the pregnant form (gracevanepercy.com).

Art Palm Beach Jan 2013
Art palm-beach 2013
 
Grace Vane Percy’s series of female nudes in classical settings reflect a strong creative flair, and artistic sensibility. The glorious, stately, backdrops celebrate English Palladian architecture at its finest. The Financial Times comments “Vane Percy’s approach is resolutely artistic” reflecting her training at the Charles Cecil studios in Florence as a classical artist working mainly in charcoal. This has also influenced her comprehension of anatomy, and the strong sense of chiaroscuro which is visible in her current work. Grace herself grew up in an English country house in Cambridgeshire. Her love of photography started from an early age when she discovered her father’s collection of Victorian glass plate negatives. She studied history of Art at the Courtauld Institute and Fashion photography and darkroom techniques at Central St. Martins. She has been commissioned to photograph some of the most elite and successful women in London and New York. She has been invited to join the ‘Women In Photography’ Archive at Yale. In the words of London’s Evening Standard – “Grace is the best in town if not the world.
GQ South Africa Nov 2012

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GQ-SA-Cover 2012

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Sunday Times Style Magazine March 2012

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Style Magazine

How I Make It Work

Grace Vane Percy, 30 is a photographer specialising in nude portraits. She live in her studio in Notting Hill with her husband, a freelance stage designer

HOW DID YOU GET INTO NUDE PORTRAITURE?

I started out doing children’s portraits, then one day I got a call from a woman asking if I would do a naked shot of her pregnant. She’d had a terrible time with her first pregnancy, so this one held special significance. I realised that being photographed in your most vulnerable state can really help a person work through their issues.

WHAT DO YOU GET OUT OF IT?

I’m very interested in people, so I find the way nudity transforms us is fascinating. I’m also trained in classical art and really enjoy the aesthetic nature of what I do, and o love to show my clients something beautiful about themselves.

WHY DO PEOPLE WANT TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED NAKED?

When I started out, I worried I’d get lots of husbands wanting to celebrate their trophy wives’ plastic surgery. But usually it’s regular women, commissioning portraits of themselves wanting to celebrate a landmark birthday, for themselves or their partner, losing a lot of weight or something like having a baby. The picture hanging in their home reminds them to feel great about themselves and their body.

HOW DO CLIENTS PREPARE?

They have to exfoliate and moisturise the day before and on the day I ask them to wear loose clothing and no underwear, as it leaves marks on the skin. I also think the less hair and make-up the better. Too much make-up looks really odd when your face no longer has to compete with your clothes. They normally disrobe behind my giant reflector, and there’s always that ‘jump into the pool’ feeling – but once the clothes are off, feelings of awkwardness pass quickly.

WHAT DO YOU TALK TO THEM ABOUT?

I sometimes feel like my work is a mini therapy session. Once somebody is comfortable about being naked they tend to open up, and will chat to me about all kinds of problems and issues in their lives. They often tell me they leave feeling lighter.

WHAT DIRECTION DO YOU GIVE?

A lot! I’m really bossy! But seriously, capturing somebody in 2-D really exaggerates bad posture, so I ask my subjects to work on a ‘ribcage tilt’. Your breastbone moves upwards when you take a deep breath – your tummy tightens and your shoulders drop back, which gives you at least and extra inch of height.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT ABOUT WOMEN’S BODIES FROM YOUR WORK?

I go to yoga twice a week because, through my observation, yoga bodies age the best. It tones in a feminine way, and keeps your skin taut.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO TO STAY HEALTHY?

I’m a vegetarian. I stopped eating meat at boarding school because it always looked so disgusting, deciding I would only eat what I called ‘happy meat’, which would now be called ‘organic’. And then the more you don’t eat it, the more you don’t want it.

WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR ARTISTIC STREAK?

Probably from my Dad (the interior designer Christopher Vane Percy). He’s a very aesthetic person and loves symmetry – Christmas and birthdays were always very beautiful. He also taught me a love of classical art and Greek mythology.

HAVE YOU EVER POSED NUDE YOURSELF?

I photographed myself naked for Tatler a few years ago, and my husband and I were going to do a double portrait after our wedding when we were both in really good shape. But now he’s decided he needs to get to the gym again first!

HAVE YOU HAD MANY MALE CLIENTS?

A few, although I vet them heavily first, because a random guy getting naked in my home is a bit intimidating. Men tend to be a lot more vain self-conscious and self-critical, which surprised me.  Also, if a man doesn’t have any muscle tone in his arms and chest, it’s hard to make a decent image, whereas a woman, irrespective of size or shape, always has feminine curves to work with.

YOU USE FILM RATHER THAN DIGITAL PHOTOGAPHY, WHY IS THIS?

Digital colour is almost too naked – there is more of a fleshy quality – whereas film creates more richness of tone. I don’t understand the obsession with HD. It takes the veil away, the romantic edge.

WHAT DO PEOPLE SAY WHEN THEY FIND OUT WHAT YOU DO?

Men always ask if I ever need an assistant, while generally women are thinking, “Oh God, is she imagining me naked?” It’s definitely a dinner party conversation starter.

Grace Vane Percy is exhibiting a selection of her nudes a part of Art Palm Beach 2012 until tomorrow.

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