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2015 PROJECT NAKED Chapter 6 – April – Woodford Green

Within hours of my 2015: PROJECT NAKED photo shoot by the statue of Achilles, I was back in action at a new location with a contrasting model and a very different kind of hero.

The bronze statue of Sir Winston Churchill on Woodford Green stands eight and a half feet tall upon a plinth of Cornish granite. It was unveiled in1959 by Field Marshall Viscount Montgomery, with sculptor David McFall and Churchill himself present.

Sharon was to be my model posing with Winnie. My assistants for this shoot were Louise and Steve, who'd posed for me at Lincoln's Inn and Holloway Road. It was around 11am when we arrived at the statue, and we all felt very conspicuous.

We were at the heart of a residential area, surrounded by houses, footpaths and a busy main road. Unlike on previous shoots in the centre of London, here we were more keenly observed by curious locals keeping watchful eyes peeled for dubious goings-on.

The pose was to be simple, which at least meant we could work fast. As the people of post-war Britain have looked up to Churchill with a kind of reverential awe, so we would have Sharon standing beside the plinth, looking up to his bronze likeness.

Louise and Steve provided cover while Sharon manoeuvred from her clothes. I think she may have been shaking as she stepped nude into the open. When we'd got the shot and a few spares, she hastily withdrew to cover-up again.

We often think of Churchill as being emblematic of the freedoms for which our nation's people have fought. Yet here we were, 50 years after his death, feeling compelled by our society's body-intolerance to conceal a woman's nakedness. That shouldn't be right. bodies should be embraced in all shapes and sizes. Woman must reclaim their bodies from sexualisation and the need to be physically perfect.

Our fight for the right to public nudity must not be limited to a handful of remote beaches. We shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!

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