October 14 2021

A Botticelli made flesh, two artist’s models in the studio sitting for a painting, laid out in the sun. Marble statues draped in sheets, wetness and warm summer air, gold, green grass on skin, the hum of insects.
Beauty for beauty’s sake,
touch for the pleasure of touching.
pure sensation, a Sappho poem come to life.

water teaser // watch in full

Bottecelli’s paintings are pure, aesthetic, rapturous fantasy. Sensory and deeply seated in the world of imagination rather than reality, the sister paintings, Primavera and The Birth of Venus, are two of the most famous and defining works of the Renaissance. The figures in them almost float, impossibly proportioned, they cast no shadow, archetypes of our imagination rather than functional physical beings.

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In painting The Birth of Venus, she rises from the sea foam blown by the wind and showered with flowers. The archetype of the goddess Venus is basically relegated to Valentine's card fodder now but her origins that go all the way back to Aphrodite, Ishtar, Astarte etc are more complex and gruesome than the Western idea of 'love goddess' would have us believe.

The most common reading of this painting is that Venus is both an earthly goddess who aroused humans to… 'physical love'… wink wink and also heavenly goddess who elevated everyone who looked at her to a higher intellectual, godly understanding. Plato argued that contemplation of physical beauty allowed the mind to better understand spiritual beauty. So your boner is actually just about achieving a higher connection to God? Sure, Plato. Whatever you say. But there is something, especially after such a long time of disconnection and darkness about indulging in the pure aesthetic and sensory beauty of these paintings, a reminder that the pleasures of the senses are still here, maybe Plato might be on to something.

Primavera, a sister painting about the blossoming, rebirth and fertility of Spring, shows the 3 Graces with figures wearing gossamer thin, material that appears to float around their bodies, dancing with them. It reminding me of the sculptures with the ability to make solid marble look like floating silk and skin.

The skill in taking something inert and cold and giving it texture, flesh and life feels like magic. Statues like this are held up as examples of the height of that refined, classical art history ideal of beauty so taking that and making porn inspired by it, something most often thought of as dirty, base, the absolute antithesis of refinement - is amusing. It’s the real, breathing bodies and all the ways they  not the marble  that the marble is trying so hard to imitate that are my ideal.

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It’s been a long, cold last year and we really went head first into making films about the detachment, isolation and increasing influence on technology and machines in our lives. I made it my promise to myself that this summer I would shoot something that was the antithesis of that, something soft and warm and full of touch and light. I managed with everything to squeeze it into the first weekend in September, well, better late than never.

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We shot this at the home of one of my favourite people, Louisa Knight, out in the deepest countryside in her back garden of dreams. The sound of the cows mooing softly in the distance really added to some pastoral tranquility. We welcome back absolute goddess Bunny who we made our fem dom psychedelic fantasy film, Doll Parts with back in 2019, a real life earth angel and a joy to shoot and fuck and then watch shit reality TV in the hot tub with afterwards. A real dream team of Bunny, Louisa and onset photography and gold paint wrangling by the ever amazing, Valerie August. Just the best day.


The Birth of Venus (mid 1430s) - Botticelli
Primavera (late 1470s or early 1480s) - Botticelli
Undine Rising from the Waters (1880–1892) - Chauncey Bradley Ive
The Veiled Truth (aka Modesty/Chastity) (1751), by Antonio Corradini
Wet look dresses - Di Petsa (2019 collection)
Venus & Aphrodite: History of a Goddess - Bethany Hughes ( 

spit, bugs, wet sounds, abundance of sapphic kissing?