Within a short space of time, we have recently received three new collections by female kink artists. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to add these collections to the UK Leather and Fetish Archive.
The work produced by Anna Sampson, Felicia Fisher, and Princess Augustine couldn’t be more different; demonstrating the wide breadth of creativity that can be found under the umbrella of kink. We wanted to take a moment to spotlight the artists, learn about their work and discover their feelings on finding a new home within the archives.
When asked what impact Anna Sampson wanted her work to have on those who viewed it, she told us that she wanted it to “Make people stop and think about the wider social and political issues that permeate body politics and representation.”
Anna is an autodidactic, photographic artist who shoots and prints exclusively on film and polaroid. All her work is heavily informed by intersectional feminism - specifically the intersection of gender and sexuality with race, class, and the politics of the personal.
“I see my work as the documentation of a moment or experience, like storytelling almost” she tells us “Especially considering I shoot on film and polaroid.” She goes on to say that the act of preservation is extremely important, and that without it we would have no history, and, in turn, no future. “Archives are a very sacred thing and I’m honoured to have my work in such a precious institution.”
With her work collected at Bishopsgate Institute, we asked how she felt knowing that people will be able to access it for, potentially, hundreds of years. “Oh, I’m so delighted to think of the young (queer) kids of the future being excited by my work! It is the most joyful feeling – I love to educate and inspire!” She continues “I choose to work primarily with marginalised sexualities – queer, trans, sex workers. Their visibility should be amplified and celebrated, and I hope my work can be recognised as a small testimony to that.”
Felicia Fisher is a fetish model and phone sex operator from the midwestern US, who has been active in online and IRL sex work since 2014. With no formal artistic training, fuelled by a passion for fetish, she has channelled her innermost desires, and those of her customers, into her fetish clips and phone sessions.
When one of her viewers requested fetish content that related to sneakers, in 2018, it sparked Felicia’s interest and led her to sneaker fetish on Twitter. Finding herself turned on by what she discovered, she began creating more and more sneaker-based content.
This included the film "Sneaker Slut”, which has played at numerous porn festivals across Europe. This and other video content she has produced can be found in her collection at the Institute.
Felicia Fisher's Instagram
Princess Augustine is a Chicago based Dominatrix who creates fetish content in a variety of mediums, including music production, writing, and film. A former Catholic school girl who found herself ostracised for speaking out about religious oppression and women’s rights, her work contains a number of blasphemy videos that highlight the perversion of religious dogma.
When speaking of her work she tells us, “I hope to inspire viewers to push their self-imposed limitations.” She believes that fetish artists pave the way for other forms of media, creating content that may initially cause feelings of shock or discomfort. “I absolutely love when people who grew up somewhat sheltered find my work and are in awe of what they are seeing and hearing.” Her work can be jarring for those exposed only to mainstream portrayals of sexuality. As she puts it, “There is a valuable moment when the viewer connects with a fantasy they never expected to have, and they accept an inner part of themselves that society might deem ‘weird’ or unconventional.” She believes that individual exploration helps build a more open-minded society, where the concept of sexuality expands beyond traditional heteronormative expectations.
When speaking of her work finding a home within the Institute’s archives, she says that it’s an honour, especially as it makes her work accessible to all, freeing it from the societal drive for monetary gain. “It can be easy to lose sight of the purpose of making art, which is to connect with people and share human experiences… I am grateful for the opportunity to have my work accessed by curious minds....”
Additionally, she adds that so many queer traditions and stories have been lost due to censorship, destruction, and death. “Kink and fetish have always been part of queer history and we are fighting to rebuild what has been taken from us as a community.” As she sees it, it is vital that future generations are able to access kink and fetish art for the sake of education. “I hope that my archived work contributes to the greater purpose of preserving queer culture.”
Are you looking to learn more about the UK Leather and Fetish Archive?
The UK Leather and Fetish Archive is dedicated to documenting and celebrating the history and heritage of the leather, rubber, kink, BDSM, and fetish community in the UK.
It started in 2016 with the deposit of the records of numerous gay/bi male UK leather clubs and has since expanded to hold the archives of organisations, clubs and individuals of all sexualities, gender identities, and kink persuasions. We also hold an extensive collection of books, pamphlets and magazines documenting UK fetish history from the early 1900s to the present day.