Phoenix Butterfly

We had arranged to shoot Phoenix 7 of 9 in the pub that had been her home for years.  Now derelict, boarded up and due for demolition, she wanted her images to include the wall paintings that she’d lived with every day.  We were also looking forward to shooting in the cellar that she’d described as ‘Awesome’
It never happened.
Before we got there some scrotes broke into the pub through the roof would you believe, leaving it in such a state that the building was declared unsafe.   Apparently the characterful demolition done by Fred Dibnah isn’t the only sort of destruction practiced in Bolton.

Our alternate location didn’t have that personal connection for 7 of 9,  was a 30 minute drive away and on a weekend, was unlikely to offer the sort of privacy we prefer to have when we are shooting rope, but it was that or cancel the shoot.
So we found ourselves in a large derelict building, open to the elements and a favourite haunt of taggers and mindless vandals alike.
It was still fairly early on a Sunday morning so we were hoping the latter would still be in their beds after the previous nights exertions.
As it was we met a tagger as we went in.
This friendly guy gave us the run-down on the building before going off to overpaint some previous work with his latest creation.
We got down to the rope, hoping that the clouds of fibres we were kicking up of the floor every time we moved were just rock-wool and not asbestos.
The sprawling derelict is way too big to make the most of in a single shoot, but we wanted to get some rope pictures moving from room to room before shooting some classic nudes then finish with a suspension.
All went well at first and we got the initial rope shots done, then elected to shoot a spreadeagled restraint against a rather cool piece of wall art, that would suggest a butterfly if we did it right.
We had 7 of 9 in place, roped naked and spreadeagled under an old extractor unit in what was probably once the works canteen kitchen and looking pretty good and very exposed.
That’s when our tagger reappeared, walking through our set on his way out, apparently ignoring the naked woman tied up and leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination, he just strolled through with a cheery “see ya” and went on his way.
We got our shot.
We needed to get 7 of 9 warm again, so got all the rope off, got her back into her clothes and got some hot drink down her.  It was then, with us sorting photo gear and 7 of 9 relaxing on a window ledge drinking tea in the sun that the mindless vandals arrived.
A half dozen of them trouped through the room we were in on their way to kick down some toilet cubicles, fortunately ignoring us completely.
We’ve got to say though, Rural Lancashire seems to breed a better class of vandal.  Or at least a better dressed one.  no loud trainers, jeans barely hanging on their hips and grubby tee shirts here.  This lot wouldn’t have looked out of place strolling out of the local golf club.
Vandalism chic.
So that was an early end to our shoot.
Frustrating, but it could have been worse.  Wonder what their reaction would have been had they walked in 15 minutes earlier …

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