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Monday, 22 October 2012

Naked and Silent in Malta

So, this is me, posing nude in of one of the many centuries-old houses packed into the tiny, winding streets of Malta's ancient capital city of Mdina, aka the Silent City, inhabited by the Archbishop, monks, nuns and other devoted Catholics, where nudity is strictly proscribed and even making too much noise is punishable- cars are not allowed to be driven through the Silent City and the horses that draw the carriages have to wear rubber shoes.

 Photographer: Clint Scerri Harkins

The second I laid eyes on Mdina during my first modelling trip to Malta in 2009, I desperately wanted to shoot there, but it was explained that this was impossible to get a permit due to the religious traditions of the area. It just goes to show that there is a way around everything if you can just find the right person, because this photographer just so happened to have a liberal aunt living in Medina, who was delighted to let us use her place for an art nude shoot. I posed in her beautiful home, so rich in history, nude amongst the many ornate crucifixes, heirlooms, Maltese antiques and religious paintings and pieces while she helped us with lighting and suggestions for locations, finally culminating in climbing a tiny, winding stone spiral staircase up to her sun-baked roof.

 Photographer: Clint Scerri Harkins

After the shoot, the aunt and I had a good chat over coffee and cake about the importance of learning to be comfortable with one's own body as an essential part of psychological and spiritual wellbeing. It taught me that you really and truly can't pre-judge someone's beliefs and behaviour based on their religion. Even her mother, the photographer's grandmother, was there for the whole shoot, perfectly happy and relaxed and very pleasant to us all :) I'm not even sure how my own, fairly secular English grandmother would react to an art nude shoot taking place in her house!

This was my third trip to Malta and I had a wonderful time, as usual. The hospitality, the people, the food, the weather, the sea, the culture and history, everything is so unique and fascinating. I'll leave you with my "holiday snaps" from this latest shoot in Mdina!

 All the streets were like this! So exciting to explore. We shot in one of these very houses.

 Me outside St Paul's Cathedral in one of my "art nude dresses" (an old, soft one that doesn't leave marks on the skin and can be stepped out of so I don't mess up my hair and makeup)

 Me and Clint, the photographer. This is where the Parisian masked ball scene in The Count of Monte Christo was shot, in case anyone's interested!

 St Paul's Cathedral and the Archbishop's house (I think)

 A convent monastery- the bars on the windows are to stop the nuns monks partying too hard (thanks, Clint!)

 There were so many cool door-knockers in Mdina that made me think of Labyrinth :D

 Inside a Medieval house that had been done up in its original style for tourists to check out. More Medieval joy...

... and more. If it weren't utterly impossible I would love to do a Medieval themed bondage shoot in this house!

Ciao for now! Just looking at these photos from Malta is making me crave seafood and white wine!

Anita xxx