Naked Hiking on a beautifully hot day near Dorking, Southern England

We’d scheduled this hike a few weeks ago and as it loomed, the temperature started to climb in the UK.Β  We’ve finally approached something approaching decent summer temperatures, although officially we’re still in spring

Four nude buddies, two Peters, one Scott and one Emma converged at Coldharbour near Dorking for a split hike. Walk 1, a brisk 3-miler followed by lunch, then a more leisurely 5-miler and we had a fabulous time, in great company

The scenery was breathtaking, with rhododendrons flanking a lot of the hills, established pine forests, lush ferns, logs which I made good use of (I have a thing about wrapping myself around logs πŸ˜‰), the occasional cyclist since this is a well- waymarked cycling route and an even more occasional walker.

After some deliberation, we found a perfect lunch spot near where we’d parked so lunch was a stylish affair with portable chairs and a picnic blanket. I found a log, broke out my much anticipated coffee and the fellas had a nice chilled, low alcohol pale ale.

Setting off for our second circular hike, typically for a wood nymph it didn’t take long for mischief to occur and on Leith Hill I spied the perfect opportunity for a photograph, despite a little gaggle of people taking in the views.

The sun was beating down, the wind blowing and I had a wrap. Art model Peter had tastefully draped himself alongside the silhouette of a tree which highlighted the landscape. I sidled up and warned Peter I was going to throw my wrap off and pro photographer Scott captured the moment and Peter’s wry amusement. None of the onlookers said anything. Some averted their eyes, some didn’t notice and some looked, but we got the shots πŸ€—

We also ambled past Coldharbour Cricket Club, the highest cricket club in Surry. A fabulous location but a very small pitch

I was hampered somewhat during these walks by two cracking blisters, one on the back of each heel which I picked up on Saturday, walking from Paddington Railway Station to the Serpentine North Gallery to see the James Barnor exhibition.Β  I wasn’t sure if my feet would withstand the hikes, worrying that perhaps I might have to bail after the first, shorter hike. Thankfully they obliged or I’d have missed some stunning views and lots of log action πŸ™‚

Back home and the inevitable household chores were waiting for me. Reality bites. We’d had a superb day although I’m always more relaxed on the way home. Seventy miles is a long drive for me with my propensity to get lost and a test for Albert my new car. He proved a worthy steed. Out first nude adventure. There will be many more no doubt πŸ˜€

In the short-term however, I’m in need of a chauffeur and gardener, any offers?

James Barnor at the Serpentine

Brother Dan and I met up at the Serpentine North in London this weekend. My first exhibition, in I can’t remember how long. Daniel, who’s a talented artist, was last at an exhibition in September 2020.

Decimated by Covid-19, the arts have been thrown in to sharp relief, especially considering Government policy in the wake of the pandemic and the financial support apportioned to the self-employed, which tends to impact upon people employed in the arts.

Creative expression is our lifeblood. It’s how we convey our feelings, our sense of identity and unity. Only by supporting the arts and the rich emotions and messages they convey, can we hope to feel life in its infinite richness and entirity.

James Barnor, now in his early 90s and apparently living in a nursing home, documents life over decades and notably, pictorially London in the 60s and Ghana where he established his famous Ever Young Studio in Accra in the early 1950s.

Having digitised his extensive portfolio, his photography reached a wider audience and now, justifiably in his later life, he’s receiving the acclaim he so richly deserves. I know where I’d rather be out of London or Ghana!

In the words of the Serpentine

“The Serpentine presents a major survey of British-Ghanaian photographer James Barnor, whose career spans six decades, two continents and numerous photographic genres through his work with studio portraiture, photojournalism, editorial commissions and wider social commentary.

A major survey of British-Ghanaian photographer James Barnor, whose career as a studio portraitist, photojournalist and Black lifestyle photographer spans six decades and records major social and political changes in London and Accra.

Born in 1929 in Ghana, James Barnor established his famous Ever Young studio in Accra in the early 1950s, capturing a nation on the cusp of independence in an ambiance animated by conversation and highlife music. In 1959 he arrived in London, furthering his studies and continuing assignments for influential South African magazine Drum which reflected the spirit of the era and the experiences of London’s burgeoning African diaspora. He returned to Ghana in the early 1970s to establish the country’s first colour processing lab while continuing his work as a portrait photographer and embedding himself in the music scene. He returned to London in 1994″

I learnt of this exhibition online via the social media platforms I inhabit, so was quick on the draw. Whether there are any tickets left is debatable but if you can get to see the exhibition do, it’s wonderful. I even shelled out to buy a coffee table book, so enraptured was I by the photography. It’s out of its cellophane already! A lovely recollection of a perfect day, made even more perfect by meeting up with Brother Dan who I’ve not seen since just before my birthday in 2020 which coincided with Lockdown 1. I can’t wait to catch up with the rest of my very large family too. Not easy when we are dotted around the globe

Tickets if you can get hold of them can be obtained here. What’s more, they are FREE!!

Happy days – in Ghana IMO, not London πŸ™‚

Back again!

on Twitter finally, thanks I believe to my innumerable requests for reinstatement being clocked by a senior member of the Twitter team. To the individual concerned who probably poked Support, I say thank you πŸ€—

Twitter Support is undoubtedly rushed off its feet, but these large platforms are hard to get answers from when you have a query or complaint. I prefer to use a chat facility when I need an answer to something. Trying to raise companies via message/email or on the phone can be laborious and circuitous.

We are fast approaching a year of repeated lockdowns in the UK. The third of which, crossing over our winter months has naturally proved to be the most arduous. Elderly friends and former clients, now in their 70s and 80s are trapped in their homes with little social contact. As our human connectedness contracts, so our souls shrivel in response. The mental health fallout in the UK is going to be devastating long-term, quite apart from the impact of deaths of beloved friends and family. In short, it’s a mess over here right now.

My father and stepmum in Paris, France are watching our vaccination programme enviously. They too are trapped in their apartment but unlike the UK, there’s no clear vaccine rollout. We speak daily and I yearn to see them both in person again.

Aside from Covid concerns, there are glimmers of hope, despite our Government’s (mis) handling of the crisis. Spring is beginning to dawn, with the prospect of naked hiking. Venues are tentatively planning to re-open and people are boldly beginning to book holidays. I’m watching the Ro rate and waiting

Naked hiking with fellow members of Socks off in the UK

I relaunch my business all being well on 12th April 2021, along with most of the so-called, non-essential retail in the UK. I have a lot to be thankful for and I’m looking forward to getting out and about, here and overseas to meet family and friends again.

Laughably we’ve been forewarned hugs might be permitted again in May. Human touch and contact is all-important. I see that daily in my work as a massage therapist when we are not in lockdown but how many I wonder, will avoid hugs in the future? As a nation we have always fallen far short of our European counterparts in tactility. It will be interesting to see if people become more tactile ultimately once society opens up and indeed, whether people will try social nudity for themselves after being locked down for so long. Come on in, the water is lovely πŸ˜€

Pictured at Diogenes Sun Club, Chalfont St Peter

Social Media: Business, branding and marketing

It’s been a month since my main nudist account @Socksoff1 was suspended by Twitter summarily.

I have five accounts on twitter which each have a different focus, although one is redundant since I relocated from Buckinghamshire to Berkshire in 2019 after 26 years years in the county and 24 years running my business there (formerly massagebucks, now @massageberks).

I’ve used social media actively since about 2015 when I started blogging on a social business networking site, Ecademy where I ‘met’ online and in person, a wealth of amazing people, many of whom became and remain friends and confidants. I was even invited to the wedding of one of my online friends before meeting him in person. What’s more, it was a small wedding so it was a real honour to be invited. He and his wife remain good friends. Such is the strength of relationships which can be formed online. These relationships are consolidated further in person, naturally. Sadly, I will never meet many of my online contacts, although with a love of travel, once we are able to dust off our backpacks/suitcases, my long-haul forays will be dictated through the friendships I’ve forged over the years pottering online, after I’ve caught up with family overseas.

In relation to my twitter account @Socksoff1 which I started in July 2013, I’d built up a diverse range of contacts, mainly nudists and naturists but also journalists, politicians and with a diverse range of interests, I followed a range of subjects and learnt a lot through my interaction via #Socksoff1.

For me, Twitter has been somewhere I’ve felt happy to network globally, after Ecademy, where I focused my spare time and attention, was bought out and lost the social element. I blogged actively on a range of subjects on the platform. Virtually all of my blogs were shelved after the company was taken over. I learnt from that and started my own blogsite but even then, deleted the first version of this website during a period of depression when I wanted to hide from the world.

I’m not hiding now and I’m not happy at the lack of response from Twitter having appealed their decision to suspend @Socksoff1 on 13th January 2021, based on an old avi which had been in place since 2015. Other colleagues subsequent to my being suspended were pulled up for the same misdemeanour and reinstated immediately having changed their avi which I also did, so I have two gripes. Number 1, inconsistencies apply and number 2, it’s very poor form to blatently ignore your customer base.

Sadly, American corporates in particular seem spectacturarly inept at distinguishing between non-sexual nudity and sexualised nudity or pornography. Nudists and naturists, however you choose to term our community, or tribe of nude advocates, are routinely discriminated against on twitter, facebook and instagram to name three of the key players. Certainly on twitter, which advocates freedom of expression, that extends to freedom of imagery too, within tweets. Traditionally, it’s not been as restrictive, which is why our nude community has felt able to network on twitter. I report and block malign, sexually-charged accounts daily. I don’t want to see pornography at dawn when I tend to wake, thanks very much!

It’s insulting to our community to equate non-sexualised nudity with pornography. Having read the Terms and Conditions at length since my suspension, I was shocked to see that parallel being drawn. Anything deemed to titillate or be viewed in a sexual light, and that can be very subjective, is deemed pornographic.

I know I’m far from an isolated case, having seen various responses to Twitter theads, with some people saying their suspension case has been in place for two years! I’ve been waiting a month for a response from twitter which I feel to be a bit rich, considering they stated it might take a few days for a response and I have tweeted various pivotal Twitter accounts on a number of occasions, to be met with stony silence, whereas others have been responded to, courteously.

Another nude colleague had to wait two months but he’d given up and started another account in the interim. I don’t want to lose my network or the history on @Socksoff1 as a networker so I’m waiting, but hardly patiently. It’s been too long for me to be patient now and I will continue to ask for a decision, publicly.

Socks off

Going to ground

I’m going to ground for a while, to focus on the elements which actually matter in real life. Once I’ve addressed everything I have to do, I’m sure you will be seeing me again but for time being, I’m conserving my energy and assigning time to the things and people, I regard as important.

I do want to say thank you to Paul de Bruyn who has been helping me to source, collate and curate the content for Nudes and News, shortly after I began the i-paper in late October last year. However, like some other aspects of my life it’s served its purpose. You will know as part of this community, how commited I am to social nudity and I’ll continue to champion it.

As a networker I have a wealth of contacts across the board, both from our community and beyond and also as a networker, access to multiple platforms. I am not limited to any, neither am I obligated to provide content for any. I prefer to generate rather than replicate when I’m not running my business, so that will be my focus for later this year.

I’ve decided Nudes and News has run its course. I enjoy networking globally and have a wide range of interests. That was reflected in my Twitter account @Socksoff1 but I was also outspoken about the drossy, scabby accounts as I called them and would regularly report and block accounts which I found repugnant, as no doubt some people would do to mine, seeing my stance and because I’m outspoken and a woman!

Thank you to those of you who subscribed and submitted feedback for Nudes and News. It was helpful and Paul de Bruyn and I were beginning to get the i-paper to reflect a version we were happy with, providing an insight into our community.

I’m not a big believe in hashtags to encompass what we embody. I do believe we show ourselves through our actions, intent and how we interact with people in life. My Twitter account might be returned to me. If it’s not, that’s 7 years of input which the plug has been pulled on overnight, ironically whilst there’s a plethora of porn abounding.

With only 2% of the UK population apparently using Twitter, it’s a drop in the social media ocean and at the moment, the cons seem to outweight the positives for me. I don’t need the negativity. There’s enough going on in the UK at the moment which warrants closer attention, medically, economically and politically.

To those of you who have been in touch, across a number of platforms, I can’t promise I’ll be able to respond to the messages I am receiving quickly, although I’m grateful to you for reaching out. I have things to do and I’m off to do them!

all the best

Emma πŸ™‚

Abbey House Gardens and a tale of Milady in two halves

My designer Gavin, who used to design all my branded stationery for me when I lived in Buckinghamshire, has kept in touch with me since moving to Berkshire. Although he’s now retired, neither of us have retired our love of recreational, non sexual nudity. I’m one of his two token nude female compatriots. I gather we’re quite scarce, most are coupled up in the naturist/nudist community.

Like many, Gavin who’s married, finds he’s out on a limb. He’s keen on naturism/nudism and loves the lifestyle but his wife is not so keen, with the exception of lovely holidays at venues in France where you can live the nude life 24/7. Since they are both keen on cycling, it’s a perfect retreat.

I’m quite happy to play the nude companion, as long as wives/husbands/partners are in the know. There’s nothing worse than secrecy in a relationship, especially where nudity is concerned. People imagine all sorts of goings on! Gavin’s wife is also a friend, so it’s not an issue and we’ve known each other for over a decade now.

I’ve had a tough couple of years. Briefly, trying to sell my house with a vulnerable market in downturn whilst looking for a property in Newbury, Berkshire. Finally selling, shutting my business and having to say goodbye to friends and clients locally, where I’d lived for 26 years and been in business over 24 years. I moved to Newbury, very much like a ‘fish out of water’ and effectively had to start all over again. To say I was low is an understatement.

Even finding a house was beset with problems. The first two properties fell through. I moved to Newbury last July with lots of money and no house. My son and daughter-in-law were bricking it. How long would I be living with them?

In the event, after about 20 viewings (Arthur and Amy were metaphorically tearing their hair out, they thought I’d never be satisfied), I found a property which was perfect for my needs, moved in on 10 September and launched my new business in Newbury on 5 November, after a flurry of decorating with the help of family and friends.

The depression lingered though. In common with many naturists/nudists, I’m suceptible to the weather and certainly I’ve found the autumn and winter to be the most challenging time. I’ve certainly been SAD in my 50s over the autumn and winter. Perhaps it’s menopoausal, who knows?

Long-term friends have been very kind. They know I retreat when I’m not well and those I trust enough and feel able to see, are able to reach out and I’ll respond. Gavin contacted me to say he was thinking of going to Abbey House Gardens and would I like to join him? It was a stretch, I still wasn’t 100%. I’d started to lift in the spring and then the pandemic hit. I was also back to square one after returning from Norwich where I’d spend much of lockdown in company, feeling useful; supporting my Physician Associate daughter and her teacher fiancee, and they me.

I decided to join Gavin. I had to feel strong enough to see people and certainly at a nude event in the UK, I’m going to see people I know. It’s a small community. We tend to know each other/of each other and because I’m ‘out there,’ people tend to know me.

I’ve been to Abbey House Gardens a few times over the years and always enjoyed it. It’s a peaceful haven away from the pressures of everyday life. Where, on clothing optional days, you can take your clothes off and wander around the extensive grounds naked. It’s blissful. Plus, there’s a little cafe serving wholesome, home-cooked food. Although we normally take a picnic, who can resist tea and cake?

Literally every time I’ve been to Abbey House Gardens, the weather has been glorious and this trip was no exception. To add to my delight as a lover of art, in the car on the way over, Gavin announced there was a sculpture exhibition taking place too. Cue one happy woman!

Ian Pollard, who owned Abbey House Gardens along with his wife nee Barbara Haworth had also been through some very difficult times, far worse than the difficulties I’d been experiencing. Ian sadly died last year but I met him a few times on clothing optional days.

His son Rufus Pollard now oversees the property and gardens as M.D. and took the intiative to collaborate with the Cotswold Sculptors Association. In 2019, the first exhibition took place around the grounds and inside, within a room which had previously had been made available to attendees on clothing optional days, where attendees could strip off and leave their clothes and belongings while they wandered around the grounds. It’s now put to much better use housing choice sculptures, this year numbering 87 pieces and outdoors, where 100 sculptures are placed around the grounds. A glossy brochure is available for Β£3 which details the location, price and materials used to construct the sculptures, along with information about the sculptors themselves.

The artwork is stupendous and it’s wonderful to be able to see outdoor pieces in such a beautiful setting. The grounds themselves looked as if they were being regenerated too. In the run up to Ian Pollard’s death, his health and family issues meant the gardens didn’t receive the same loving care they had formerly. There was a notable difference between the grounds this year, as opposed to 2018 when I was last there.

Generally the clothing optional events run between May to September but this year has been very different because of the pandemic. In the event, the clothing optional events were scheduled in August and September and I managed to attend both. There’s good reason for that, I’ll explain later on.

Gavin and I had a lovely day at Abbey House Gardens where by chance, we met up with another nude buddy Helen and met her fiancee. We wandered around taking in the sculptures at length, inside and outside. I’m a big lover of sculpture although not particularly knowlegeable. I just know what I like and I liked a lot!

Wandering around the indoor exhibition the first time, as we rounded a corner, I spotted a sculpture of a female nude which I was captivated by. I loved the curves and how she looked different from every angle. She also looked weathered, a bit like me πŸ™‚ and I kept circling her. Looking at the brochure later, I realised not only was she capitivating, I could actually make an investment.

The sculptures are for sale. The sculptor, materials used, whether they are originals or one of many, indicated in the accompanying brochure. The sculpture I fell in love with is by Christine Baxter, who was also exhibiting a number of pieces around the grounds.

This piece indoors was titled, ‘Female Torso.’ Thankfully for me Female Torso was not an original which meant she came in at Β£150. With prices ranging from Β£115 to Β£12,000, Female Torso was at the lower end of the spectrum. No clues in the picture below incidentally. I was so entranced by Christine’s sculpture, I didn’t even take a picture of her on this visit.

Tempted though I was, I didn’t purchase her there and then. Despite circling here like a shark on more than one occasion, I went home ladyless. It’s been an expensive few months fitting out my new house, quite apart from the costs involved in setting up the business again and more recently, the additional Covid-19 related costs, after having to close and re-launch the business.

Back home, I regailed my son Arthur and his wife Amy with an account of what a marvellous day I’d had and all the stunning sculptures I’d seen. I moved to Newbury to be closer to family and they’ve been a huge support. I’m completely impractical but I can cook πŸ™‚ I lack geographic awareness and although I’ve coordinated the basic elements involved in running a successful business since 1996, I’ve never approached the business strategically before. A business plan? What’s that?

Apart from the practical help, Arthur and Amy are also helping me to market my business. I might be savvy with social media but I don’t know the area around here as they do, plus they’re both involved with finance. I’m not sure of their exact titles or what they do in any detail, so let’s just call them both Accountants. I run any financial decisions I might make past them. Having lived off so little, for so long and with my focus always being the children, since I was a single parent for many years, historically I’ve found it hard to spend money on myself.

Amy realised how much I loved Christine Baxter’s Female Torso and after some persuasion (it didn’t take much), I pledged to phone Rufus Pollard up in the morning to see if I could secure the piece.

Rufus was charming. We had a chat about the exhibition and he offered to phone Christine Baxter to see if I could have the piece I’d viewed, which some sculptors had facilitated where purchases had been made. Christine very kindly said she was happy to drop another piece off, to replace the sculpture I’d seen later that week. I paid and all that was left to do, was to collect my sculpture, before the exhibition ended on 31st October 2020.

My diary is jammed, so returning required planning. When I realised there was another clothing optional day in September, the decision was made. I would collect Female Torso then and have another blissful day at Abbey House Gardens, skipping around in the nude, no doubt meeting up with more nude buddies

Part 2 to follow. You’ll need a cup of tea (and cake) for this as it is, or judging from the time I’m actually able to post this, probably a whisky!

Zoom it!

One thing that’s thrived over the last few months, is the rise of platforms such as Zoom.

As coronovirus was beginning to bubble to the fore in the UK, largely unchecked, shocked by the footage which was coming out of Europe, we tried to carry on our daily lives, little realising how much life would change in the coming months.

I’d never been on a group call before although I remember, many years ago, hearing people patched in on a teleconferencing call in London where I worked at the time and marvelling. That was about to change.

It’s my birthday in the spring, so the family and I were celebrating. I was reeling from having to shut my business without warning, on Friday 20th March 2020. I’d already decided to shut on Friday 27th March 2020 but the Government unilaterally declared a shut down with a shock announcement, so that was it. I spent Monday 23rd March 2020 phoning clients who were in the diary, most of whom were very understanding. Others were pleading with me to honour their appointment. No way! Not with a pandemic unfolding. My responsibility is to help my clients in their health.

After a lovely lunch and walk, I was hustled back home for what I expected to be a Skype call with one of my sisters (I have 2 and 3 brothers). My son had set his PC up with technology I’d never heard of before. Walking in to the room I was utterly confused to see the faces of all my brothers and sisters and their respective partners/spouses and my Dad and stepmum Barbara in Paris. I burst into tears.

We so rarely get together as a family, being spread around the world, with one brother and family in Seattle, Dad and Barbara in Paris. A happy joyous call. We were all reluctant to sign off but did eventually. We haven’t done it since, there normally has to be a reason to get so many people together at one time, across different time zones. It wasn’t Zoom, I can’t remember the name of the platform but I’ve used Zoom since.

Commision by Ahmed Raafat for my Dad’s 80th birthday

After phoning my clients, I shot over to Norwich to spend much of lockdown with my daughter and her fiancee so we could all support each other. She works in the NHS as a Physician’s Associate and since I didn’t have any clients to attend to, I redirected my efforts into acting as back-up for the two of them, who were both still working full time.

I walked, a lot, did the shopping, cooking (vegan) cleaning and generally tried to be as useful as I possibly could be. It wasn’t easy. We were in a two bedroom flat with no garden but I had wonderful walks on the doorstep and off I went every day with my daysack and money pouch, invariably stopping off for food at some point. Alice remonstrated with me, she told me I was shopping too much. I had to do something and besides which I could sneak a bit of non vegan food on these shopping forays.

We watched environmental documentaries, read, Alice found me a data entry job for a few weeks which was tedious but gave my days some structure and then Zoom started to creep in to daily life.

I was Alice’s model for a hair tutorial one day. It wasn’t really long enough for the elaborate chignon were were trying to create but it was a wonderful bonding experience. We didn’t have the closest of relationships during her adolescence but lockdown gave us the opportunity to spend time together again, in a way neither of us envisaged and we grew progressively closer. Now I’m back in Newbury I miss her (and her fiancee) terribly.

I was also the model for a life drawing class Alice organised with her friends. Brother Dan took part too. He attends life drawing classes weekly in London and has a real talent. Alice and I had mocked up some poses and, wrestling with a poof, and angelpoise lamp, we tried to create sufficient space in the lounge for the session. It worked, of sorts.

Photograph taken in 2017 at Diogenes Sun Club, Buckinghamshire by Gilead Limor

During the session, Alice asked if anyone would like to share their artwork. Brother Dan gamely held up his offering. It was amazing! A wonderful line drawing with some flashes of colour as highlights. It was also quite obvious he was no beginner but he’s got such a lovely nature, so it was in no way a boastful gesture.

Drawing of Emma James by brother Dan during Zoom call

I felt a bit sorry for some of the other participants as they shyly showed their rudimentary line drawings. For many it was their first experience of life drawing.

Interestingly Dan said he’d been a bit skeptical about taking part in a vitual life drawing class but that aferwards, he still had the feeling of exhileration he gets after a class, in person.

I could see the potential but my work-based Zoom calls were a different matter. A lot of people were dialled in, I didn’t know any of them and people were vying for attention, interjecting with questions, without waiting to be asked. It was generally chaotic. I wasn’t a fan and took to observing, not interjecting.

Detail from British Naturism towel

British Naturism have capitalised on the lockdown in common with many businesses and adapated by taking events online, with online yoga classes, interviews with prominent naturists, life drawing (booking form for this weekend). This Sunday the AGM is taking place for members. I can’t go, I’m at a family dinner but I’d certainly be observing, not interjecting if I were.

A regular feature is the weekly Forum Live at 7:30pm. A chance to get together with fellow nudies and listen to the topic for the week, along with other regular features:

– Naked Kitchen with Pam: Mondays 2pm

– Discussion with Andrew Welch: Mondays 7.30pm

– Coffee Morning Chat: Wednesdays 11am

– Youth British Naturism (18-35 years) Catchup: Thursdays 8pm

– Pub Chat: Fridays 8pm

– Aerobics: Saturdays 5pm

It’s not the same as all meeting in real life, of course, but at the moment, it’s the only way we can all get together and it’s helping to unify the community further, with collaborations being forged between prominent American and British nudists/naturists and friendships evidently developing, as evidenced by twitter interactions I’ve observed.

As members of British Naturism, we also get membership of the International Naturist Federation, whose members can attend these Zoom calls. This Monday, 5th October 2020, is not-to-be missed, with Caroline Steel a BBC radio science producer taking part in the Forum Live. Book here

Useful information

Ahmed Raafat on Twitter @TheAhmedRaafat. An Egyptian comic book artist based in the UK. Creator of Astronudes and co-creator of @El3osba

British Naturism. On Twitter @britnaturism

Diogenes Sun Club, Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire. On Twitter @DiogenesSunClub

Gilead Limor, photographer. On Twitter @gileadlimor . Latest exhibition, blog

Gilead Limor at Notting Hill Visual Arts Exhibition

Gilead Limor, a talented London-based photographer, is exhibiting six works in the Notting Hill Visual Arts Exhibition as part of the Notting Hill Visual Arts Festival 2020.

The private viewing was held on Wednesday 23rd September 2020 which was well received and the exhibition is running to Sunday 11th October 2020 between 11:00am to 7:00pm, at the Notting Hill Fine Art Gallery, 153 Portobello Road, London, W11 2DY.

Gilead takes stunning nude photography. His work has a real intensity and depth to it and I’ve been fortunate to work with him a few times. This picture was taken at Diogenes Sun Club in 2017.

It might look uncomfortable but it wasn’t too bad, although you wouldn’t want to hold the pose for long!

Photo credit, Gilead Limor, 2017

In these socially distancing times, the festival has had to adapt and booking is essential. Email info@nottinghillfestivalvisualarts.

As you can see from the flyer above, in addition to the exhibition, workshops and classes are taking place from Monday 28th September 2020.

On the final day of the exhibition, at 3:00pm on Sunday 11th October 2020, there’s a chance to meet and ask questions of photographer and restaurateur Charlie Phillips ‘a groundbreaking photographer who captured street life for over thirty years.’

According to a Wikipedia entry, Charlie Phillips is “Arguably the most important (yet least lauded) black British photographer of his generation”

Chatting to Gilead a couple of days after the exhibition launched, he said the exhibition is attracting a lot of people and quite a few people have expressed an interest in his work. Gilead has kindly provided some images from the gallery and his submissions.

It does seem strange to see people wandering around galleries wearing masks, despite it being part of everyday life nowadays

And here, a classic before and after depiction of the exhibition

I’d love to be able to go over to see the exhibition myself but sadly with my daughter turning 30 in October, I’m decamping to Norwich so I’ll have to miss it.

I’m hoping some of my network will get over there and tweet out their impressions. Please include @gileadlimor and/or @Socksoff1 in the permitted 280 characters and enjoy the exhibition!