Anatomie started in our living room in 2014. Myself (Anna) and my partner Fred Hatt would organise small workshops taught by invited presenters and host them in our one bedroom flat in South East London.
Due to popular demand and the need to fit more people per class, we then started to hire small studios in London ad hoc – we called this project ‘Pop Up Rope Events’ as it wasn’t linked to any particular space.
Within 6 months, the demand for classes became much bigger than we could provide as we ran into issues with studio availability and storage (we had to buy a lot of equipment for workshops like straps, carabiners, bamboos etc) – so we decided to try to acquire a more permanent space where we could have the freedom to schedule as much as we could and also open up for weekly practice sessions.
Anatomie Studio was born.
It’s now bigger and we have to take a bus to get there, but Anatomie is still our home and our living room. It’s also a school and workplace, but it’s primarily our home, a place where we get to hang out with our friends, as well as do and teach rope in the way we want to.
This way is Japanese Rope Bondage (Shibari / Kinbaku) with a modern flavour. Meaning that we teach and follow the fundamentals of Japanese style rope bondage, which include the Takate Kote as the central form from which shapes, techniques and concepts of aesthetics, psychology etc are introduced – but with a modern approach and aesthetics, and always seeking to develop the form in new and interesting ways.
Our approach is not rigid or dogmatic but it is precise, detailed, structured, body aware, bottom focused, adaptable, functional, efficient, empathic and flexible. We are both academics with years of experience and passion for teaching, and this is evident in how we teach. We are proud to count numerous skilled riggers and rope bottoms in London as our direct students. Some of which also teach & perform.
The mission of our space is primarily education: education about this style of rope, but also about safety, anatomy, consent and partnership. The values of our space are the values that we practice in our home and our life, and these include tolerance, acceptance, openness, respect of other regardless of how individuals self-identify, their backgrounds, their shapes and their orientations.
To have the best possible experience in our space, we recommend you approach it like you would a social gathering in someone’s house or flat: be a participant not a consumer, practice self-awareness, kindness, pitch in, help out, mind your footprint and be respectful of others & grateful to your hosts.
These values and approach seem to resonate with many people as we see the popularity of our space increase month to month. The majority of our workshops and classes sell out, most of our rope jams are full and private tuition requests, requests for photoshoots, performances, teaching inside and outside the UK are through the roof.
With popularity comes a price. As empaths, as socially aware responsible hosts we want to please as many people as we can and give as much as we can to the community. Therefore, in the last years we have donated the studio for the Body Positive Rope Project which aims to increase representation of body diversity in rope, we hired the studio out for a dedicated queer rope jam at a reduced price, organised regular pay-as-you-can community classes and free rope talks, organised quiet jams, organised a RopeWork non-profit meeting for event organisers across the UK, and more.
But the reality is that we are not a public space, we are not a charity, organisation or institution, and we will never be those things. We are simply two people with a living room who love each other and who love shibari. And that’s all we will ever be.
As we now look to expand into a bigger space (yes we are looking), Anatomie will always be our living room, our personal space, our place of work, our place where we feel safe among friends and where we are at home.
We are grateful to those who support us through our journey, and we are grateful to our friends and community who allow us to do what we do. We welcome those who are on board with our vision and our values to share our space with us as we move forward.
See you soon,