The calm before the storm, at the Kate Peters "Yes Mistress" exhibition,
Photographer and artist Kate Peters hosted her "Yes Mistress" exhibition at Hundred Years Gallery in Hoxton, on the 29th November. I was invited to preview advance copies of my just-published book, "The History & Arts of the Dominatrix" at the exhibition night itself, and give a gallery talk.
It was a great turn-out, which saw upstairs and downstairs completely packed out with barely enough room to move. So many people were there that we had to give two talks, one upstairs and one downstairs! The attendees were an eclectic mix of art aficionados, photography enthusiasts, Dominatrices and even an assigned French maid and formal butler in attendance. Add wine, stir, and let the fun begin!
Kate Peters' star is ever-rising as an acclaimed artist photographer. She is represented by Institute, and has been finalist and winner of major photography awards, exhibiting in New York, London, Paris and Toronto, and held in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery. You may have seen her work in magazines and newspaper commissions from around the world, including the front cover of Time Magazine's image of Julian Assange was a portrait taken by Kate Peters.
Artist photographer Kate Peters (who is shy of the limelight). Her portrait of Miss Deviant appears on the wall.
Kate and I have strangely parallel journeys into the subject of the Dominatrix, albeit her's in photographic medium, and my own as author and historian. Back in around 2009, Kate had been planning a series of mis-en-scene of rooms after encounters, with archaeological traces if you will. She attended the "Night of the Senses" where she had an encounter with a Dominatrix, whom she photographed, providing such rich material that it began a series "Yes Mistress" on the underground world of the Dominatrices, their slaves and sissies, and dungeons as both workspace and theatrical stage space for playing out fantasies.
My own journey began also in 2009, but in Melbourne, Australia, where the carpark of the design showroom I managed for my work backed out opposite a large dungeon establishment within a discreet Victorian villa, housing a dozen Dominatrices. Stiletto heels clicked down footpaths in confident strides, and the local bars had cocktails which nodded to the Dominatrix clientele, with names like "red stiletto" and "the Mistress". I met some of these ladies out at a birthday party, whose normal dayjobs included being a police and court translator who spoke 7 languages, a permaculture expert, a Chinese medicine doctor, an early childhood educator, and who in their evenings enjoyed whipping men for pay. (Amongst of course a myriad other activiites). I was fascinated, shocked, intrigued and curious, and so began my own journey into the underground world of the Dominatrices, and of the valuts of history and archaeology tracing their path through the ages.
Preview of advance copies of my book, featuring Kate Peters' iconical portraits of London Dominatrices.
Giving a gallery talk on Kate and I's respective parallel journeys into the underground world of Dominatrices.
Kate and my own paths fatalistically crossed around six months ago, while I was in sabbatical in Hanoi, Vietnam, finishing up work on my book. Despite publishers trying to put me off colour illustrations, I had decided to push ahead and tell the story of the Dominatrix with the art, gathered from each era, portraits of the women and relevant material from the museums, libraries and galleries around the world. I had heard about Kate's work on the topic of Dominatrices, and contacted her for inclusion in my book. She enthusiastically agreed, and I feature three major iconical portraits by Kate Peters in my book, "The History & Arts of the Dominatrix".
We came together again for the exhibition, meeting in real life after my arrival back in London, and with the support of Madame Caramel's "Erotic Art Collective" which aims to showcase artists working on the rich themes of sexuality, creativity and BDSM.
Involved in the collaboration for the night was Kate Peters and myself, London Dominatrix "Miss Deviant" (whose own portrait also featured on the walls, holding a slave in tow), Miss Talia, and the organizational skills of Madame Caramel from the Erotic Art Collective. Not to mention the wonderful Montse Gallego who runs Hundred Years Gallery in Hoxton.
Thank you to all who attended and contributed to such a great night!
Two attendees with "The History & Arts of the Dominatrix" book at Kate Peters' exhibition.