1. What is your favourite article in Issue One?
Katherine: The interview with Nettie Harris.
She is passionate, uncompromising, fearless, and gives one hundred percent to everything that she does. I have no doubt that her her commitment to her work will ensure that her reputation continues to grow.
Simone: George Pitts’ images of Nettie Harris are bold and fearless, as is her own contribution to the image-making process. As a result you are likely to have pre-conceived ideas as to the type of person you presume her to be.
Yet her interview is revealing, highly personal and emotive; it makes you question how judgemental we can be as individuals, and as a society and, at the end of it… you can’t help but fall a teensy bit in love with her!
Alice: ‘Sisterhood of the Bush’!
This is hot topic at the moment and I love Katherine’s light-hearted humour. I want people to read it and re-evaluate their attitude towards pubic hair. Her evangelism of the subject has already converted me to the join the Sisterhood. ..oh, and the fact that I’m currently a single pringle (and ready to mingle).
If truth be told, I haven’t seen myself with substantial bush since I was about 16, so I’m going to see how much I can grow it before I get lucky (as, no doubt, I’m still quite unlikely to have the courage to bare the bush).
2. Your favourite photography in the magazine?
Katherine: I’m being completely honest when I say that I love all of the photographer’s work in Issue One; albeit for a broad mix of different reasons.
When I was 20 a friend bought me a photography book produced by Agent Provocateur. Two images stood out and always arrested my attention. Amongst the many photographs of pretty twenty year old models there were also two images of older women. The first was a very known photograph by Bettina Rheims, and the other was of a lady in a peep hole bra – both models overtly engaging with the camera.
The reason why these two images were so striking and still remain in my memory ten years later was that the women were clearly present in the image and having a dialogue with the viewer; rather than simply being a passive mannequin for the underwear (which so often seemed to be the case with all of the pretty 20 year olds models).
The two women clearly saw themselves as the true subject of the image, not the underwear which they were wearing. It was their all too evident confidence that I found so sexy; a confidence that the younger models simply didn’t project at all.
When John Stoddart showed me his photographs of Marilyn Cole I had an immediate sense of deja vu. I was certain that I had seen his peep hole bra before image before. When I finally realised this shot was within my old Agent provocateur book of photography I was instantly excited; and even more excited to be able to publish (many of them for the first time) the rest of the images from that shoot!
Simone: Photography that appears spontaneous, natural, that has a narrative or appears to honestly capture a moment or an emotion.
Jenny Wood’s photography especially appeals. In fact I know that she’s a favourite across the whole team!
Ferry’s Van Der Nat’s fabulous Polaroid portraits of male dancers can also be appreciated as much for their content as the beautiful qualities of this particular process.
Alice: I particularly love Ferry Van Der Nat’s work as he has managed to capture the male form in a beautiful way that really is quite untypical of the already limited and largely uninspiring images of men that are out there for women.
I find John Stoddart’s images of Marilyn Cole both nostalgic and, actually, ever so sexy. Both photographer and model exude confidence in these images and, alongside the accompanying interview with Marilyn, there’s so much substance to this collaboration. Not least the fact that women can still be sexy – and sexual – when well into their fifties.
Mikey McMichaels’ essay of Nettie Harris in his monograph are stunning – raw and varied with a strong narrative – and it’s been a pleasure to work on such beautiful image-making.
3. What you feel The Quite Delightful Project offers to its target audience of women (and, perhaps, to men too)?
Katherine: A magazine that celebrates erotic photography (over vacuous porn), and invites readers to explore aspects of their own sexuality or desires without apology or embarrassment.
Simone: We aspire to offer readers the opportunity to explore their own sexuality as well as celebrating the diversity of opinions and experiences that there are out there.
In an area that has been, for too long, dominated by a male tone of voice we seek to offer elegant, captivating content that is compelling and fearless on every level; be it the written word, photography, illustration or the magazine’s over-riding design sensibilities.
Alice: One piece of feedback from our followers has really stuck out for me. One male follower got in touch to thank us for offering not only women, but also men, a more intelligent and classy approach to erotica.
I think we need to stop presuming that only men want to look at cheap porn and women that it is only women that crave a more stylish or elegant product, or want to enjoy erotica in the form of the written word. It’s becoming ever more evident that there’s actually much more of an overlapping of tastes and desires across the genders.
Above all, I like the fact that we have concerned ourselves with not just images of undeiable beauty, but also with a nod towards humour and insight too.
4. Who or what inspires you?
Katherine: There is not one particluar person that I find inspiring. But I am always inspired by people that speak passionately and enthusiastically about their work, their projects, or their hobbies and interests. It is all too easy to moan and be negative about one thing or another, so whenever I meet people that are passionate and genuinely excited by what they are doing I am always impressed.
And, above all, happy people. You know, those people that you only meet briefly for 30 seconds who might do little more than say hello, or smile, and through this tiny acknowledgment somehow manage to transform your entire day.
Simone: Who inspires me, hmmmm! Interesting!
I don’t think I can really pick one individual and, anyway, it’s more likely to be a person’s characteristics that I find impresses or inspires me; and I could fill a page with those!
So, for now, I shall evade the issue and offer someone else’s rather more eloquent words:
“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth and the capacity for sacrifice.”
― Ernest Hemingway.
….and, one last thought from me:
Alice: I would say that the people who inspire me most are those that do what they want to do without concern for the socially conformist criticism that they might receive.
Personally, I always lean towards overthinking things, and invest far too much time worrying about consequences and what people will think about me. This has sometimes been especially challenging when working with the content and sort of subject matter that is featured throughout the Quite Frankly issue. Yet, one of the highlights of the project has been the extent to which I have enjoyed encountering the extent to which other people seem so confident to talk about their decisions with positivity and an absence of regret.
A wise bald man once told me ‘In life, it’s likely that you’ll far more regret things you didn’t do (than anything you chose to experience even just the once)’.