Bodies of Difference
Bodies of Difference by Ashley Savage is an extraordiary exhibition which simultaneously challenges and heart-warms with striking photographic images disability, 'otherness' and sexuality.
In a world that works to de-sexify all but the idealised notions of "sexiness", this exhibition is an important and overdue regognition that open sexuality is the right of everyone in our society.
"I have always been drawn towards beauty that is strange or unique, that which falls far outside of the narrow parameters of normative beauty. Within my photographic practice, ‘normality’, is of interest merely as a means to measure degrees of difference in a culture that continues, on many levels, to regard that which is extreme, as deviant. My work vascilates between the genres of Art and Documentary, exploring issues relating to gender, sexuality, disability, body modification and contemporary fetishism" Ashley
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="288"] Tutu + Rikka[/caption]
'I’m a performance artist, originally from Venice Beach, California, who relocated to London many years ago, though I now reside for most of the year with my girlfriend on a farm in the mountains of Spain. I first met Ashley, the photographer in 2004, when I was performing at the legendary Madame Jojo’s nightclub, deep in the heart of Soho. We quickly became friends and have worked together on numerous occasions. I love the fact that Ashley’s work encompasses diversity and veers away from representations of conventional beauty.
Being large is often seen as akin to being disabled in our society where perfection is increasingly a mandatory requirement for acceptance. Though I am never totally comfortable with my body, I enjoy exploring the shapes generated when I pose naked and am always keen to engage those possibilities. When I perform all of the gay boys love me, whilst straight men call me a ‘fat cow’ at the same time as trying to stifle their erections.'
"My condition is known as Diastrophic Dysplasia, a type of dwarfism that is particularly common in Finland, the country of my birth. During my childhood and adolescence, I used to be extremely embarrassed about my body, but through many painful experiences I came to realize that there is just no such thing as a ‘perfect’ body. Nowadays I do not think of myself as being different, any more so than everyone is different from someone else. Through my artistic practice as a performer and model, I strive to show that feeling sexy and confident does not necessarily require fitting into predetermined stereotypes of normative beauty.
I have modelled for Ashley many times in the past and trust him implicitly, so have no objections to being photographed naked. Even in everyday life, I cannot hide away my imperfections behind clothes and make-up, so in a sense, I am always naked whether I wear clothes or not."
Erotic Awards Exhibition
The Erotic Awards, organised by Outsiders, a national charity which helps disabled people gain confidence and find partners, are pansexual and encourage disabled artists. Adorning the walls at Sh! Women's Erotic Emporium for the whole month of July is an sensational & spellbinding exhibition showcasing the finalists & winners from the art & photography sections
- Xue Wang (China) (Winner)
- Gutterorchid (UK) (Finalist)
- Jamie McCartney (UK) (Finalist)
- Gregory Brown (UK) Winner
- Daikichi Amono (Japan) Finalist
- Rod McDonald (UK) Finalist