Welcome to our living room. How Anatomie came to be, where it’s going and what it’s about.

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,

Anna

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Consent practices in the studio

The following text is modified from the Anti-Violence Project‘s text on consent. It has been modified and reframed for the context of rope.


Consent

So, what is consent?

Consent is clear, communicated, enthusiastic, the responsibility of the initiator, ongoing, and can be renegotiated or withheld at any time. It means listening to each other, respecting each other, and bringing mindfulness to all our interactions. Practicing consent is an important step in creating a culture we want to live in. A culture in which people are respected and have autonomy, choice, agency, to decide for themselves what is best for them.

We support and encourage folks to explore rope in safe, exciting, consensual ways. While doing this it is incredibly important to discuss safety, boundaries, and care. Everyone deserves boundaries and safety for themselves and those around them when and if they choose to engage in rope. Your first partner is you. Knowing and exploring our boundaries can involve a lifelong conversation and relationship with ourselves.

No one is responsible for fulfilling our ropey wants but ourselves. Wants consist of the things that we enjoy doing and give us pleasure (in the broadest sense of the word). While it can be exciting and empowering to share these things with others and to experience ourselves in relation to rope partners, other people are never responsible for fulfilling your wants.

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When practicing consent there are 6 elements:

A mutually communicated agreement

We do not use words like “talk” or “verbal” in this element because not everyone communicates verbally.

That being named, for folks who can and choose to communicate verbally, it is very important that you talk to each other.

Respect the yes.

Respect the no.

Respect indecision (it is not a yes).

Listen and pay attention to words, feelings, and context.

Enthusiasm

When we name enthusiasm, we’re referring to a felt sense in yourself and also in the person(s) you’re engaging with.

First, check in with yourself. Think of the last time you were really excited to do something, to see something/someone, or to go somewhere.

What did that feel like?

What happened in your body?

How did you know you were excited?

We want people to feel free to be that excited to do rope.

Second, check in with the person(s) you’re engaging with.

How do you know that they are excited?

Is it feeling like what they’re communicating with words (if they communicate verbally) is the same as what they’re communicating with their bodies?

If not, check in. If you have doubts, don’t proceed.

Responsibility of the initiator

The person wishing to initiate an act (e.g., initiating the rope scene, the cuddling, touching different body parts, etc.) or change an act (e.g., switch from tying to touching) is responsible for initiating the conversation about consent.

Step by step (on­going)

Having established consent for one activity does not mean that consent has been established for all activities. Just because someone consented to do rope with someone else, it doesn’t necessarily mean they consented to having their body touched. Just because someone consented to having their body touched, doesn’t mean they have consented to further intimacy.

Check in every step of the way.

Cannot be held to a pre­determined agreement

Consent is not a contract; people can change their minds. If early on in the evening someone agrees to to rope at a rope jam/event, check in at the jam/event on before moving forward. Although prearranged conversations can be had, no one should be forced to engage without an in-­the­-moment check in. Our wants and desires are fluid, as should be the agreements that we make when it comes to how we relate to our bodies.

Important notes

Identity

We do not come into any interaction, relationship, or space without our identities; our identities do not come into any interaction, relationship, or space without power. That power comes from systems that have been (and continually are) put in place to benefit some and oppress others. For example, white supremacy gives privilege to white people, patriarchy gives privilege to masculine folks, capitalism gives privilege to the wealthy. Privilege exists whether or not someone chooses to it acknowledge it, and though we do not have a choice about whether we receive it or not, we do have a choice about whether or not we are accountable to it.

In terms of consent this is incredibly important. If someone holds certain power this can impact the ability of someone to feel comfortable to say no, ask for what they want, or engage in fully consensual activities.

Informed

Informed consent means that someone who is being asked for their consent has full information about what they are being asked to consent to. When someone is intoxicated, under the influence of drugs or otherwise unable to make decisions in an informed way, consent can’t happen.

Context

Gender-­based violence doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It takes place within a cultural context of ideas, values, and behaviours. We are surrounded with images, language, jokes, movies, music, advertising, laws, that validate and perpetuate sexualised violence by making it seem normal. This is referred to as “rape culture”. “Boy will be boys”, “It’s just the way it is…” are examples of this normalisation.

This violence is not normal nor is it inevitable. By practicing consent we aim to shift the culture from one that teaches us that exploitation, coercion, domination, and control are ok to one that is grounded in respect, accountability, responsibility, reciprocity, and interrelatedness.

At the centre of all of this work is consent.

As community members, we believe that by practicing consent in all of our interactions we can work towards building safer communities.

Boundaries versus Consent

A persons wants in rope may shift and change depending on the day, context, partner and how they feel. That’s why it is so important to have a conversation about what is okay and what is not okay before and during rope.

While boundaries can be fluid and re-negotiable, being consent focused isn’t negotiable.

If someone says “I didn’t consent to this” the correct response is never “you didn’t communicate your boundaries properly” because this takes the focus away from consent initiation and onto definition of boundaries. This is problematic because boundaries can shift and it is virtually impossible to list all the things that are okay and not okay in any given situation. Moreover, focusing too much on establishing boundaries places most of the burden onto one person rather than promoting an ongoing exchange and shared responsibility between two people.

When in doubt, ask or do not proceed. Indecision is not a yes.

 

‘Intersection’

We’ve been super lucky this year participating in so many cool projects! We don’t always post the end results on this blog, but we have more on our personal website at www.bonesandrope.com!

We leave you here with these gorgeous images from an inspiring collaboration with Ayumi LaNoire and Russell Higton earlier this year!

Presented by Ayumi LaNoire
Photographed by Russell Higton
Bounded by Fred Hatt
Hairstyles by Dani Metcalf

JAPANESE ROPES selection 5JAPANESE ROPES selection 4JAPANESE ROPES selection 3JAPANESE ROPES selection 2JAPANESE ROPES 8JAPANESE ROPES 7JAPANESE ROPES 6JAPAESE ROPES selection 1

Anatomie Studio at Peckham Festival 2017

We are very pleased that we’ll be part of this year’s Peckham Festival!

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Anna Bones and Fred Hatt​, of Anatomie Studio are London based shibari artists who enjoy challenging the perceptions of what Japanese Rope Bondage can be and the people who practice it.

“Through the medium of jute ropes and other materials (such as fabric and ribbons) they create visual imagery of objects and people in ropes that challenge some of the misconceptions around shibari.

“Empowerment, feminism, consent, diversity, partnership, artistic expression and aspects of body representation are common themes in their work.The popularisation of shibari in recent years has meant that shibari is moving beyond its taboo origins and developing into an art form in its own right.

“In shibari the model is the canvas, the rope is the paint and brush, and the rigger is the rope artist.”

More information HERE.

Fly! Intro to Suspension : Learn the art of shibari suspension with Fred Hatt & Anna Bones!

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Want to learn the art of shibari suspensions from one of the best in Europe?
Join us in August!

Studio owners Fred and Anna have been tying together since 2013 and regularly teach & perform inside and outside the UK.

Their foundational classes at Anatomie Studio are unparalleled in terms of the depth, detail and technical information offered. Their classes focus as much on the ‘how’ as well as the ‘why’ behind everything they do in rope. Fred and Anna work as a team so their classes have as much information for riggers as they do for rope bottoms.

Their teaching style has been described as compassionate, approachable, extremely detailed and bottom aware.

For more information about Fred and Anna see their website here:
www.boneandrope.com

For more details about the workshop’s program including pre-requisites please see our Facebook listing here.

To book onto this weekend workshop, it’s right over here.
For a complete list of all our workshops, see here.

Community Class Nº5 – ‘The View from the Bottom’ by Anna Noctuelle

Hello!

Our 5th Community Class session will be taking place on August 9th and will be led by Noctuelle!

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This session will be for all levels and will focus on bottoming specifically – beginners and newbies especially welcome. You are welcome to bring your own rigger, we will also have some of the Anatomie crew on hand as volunteer riggers for anyone who would like this for some of the exercises.

Community Classes are ‘pay-what-you-can’ sessions (cash on the day) and to participate we ask that you reserve a spot (free) online over HERE.

For questions please email us at anatomie.studio@gmail.com

See you soon!

‘Contemporary Rope Bondage’ – #RopeTalk (FREE) by Iris Ordean – August 2017

#RopeTalk August 2017

Iris is doing a doctoral research projects on Shibari at Durham University and she will be joining us on August 12th to share her thoughts and findings on the subject of ‘contemporary shibari’.

Event listing HERE | More info HERE

“My doctoral project aims to analyse the contemporary cultural practice of rope bondage using a collaborative approach. I am interested in building up a research project focused on the practitioners’ own perspective, looking at how the practice has mutated from Japanese contexts into European contexts, understanding how it is currently evolving, and exploring how those who do rope construct their identities.

“At Anatomie Studio I will talk a little bit about my journey so far, and discuss the findings and frameworks I have come across in (academic) literature. I will explain a little bit what I wish to accomplish by using a collaborative approach, how it works and how I plan to make it happen.”

Come along to this FREE meet, share, listen, ask, let’s discuss!

More information here: https://anatomiestudio.com/ropetalk/

These sessions are open to the curious, the interested and the veteran alike and welcome everyone regardless of where you see yourself in the rope spectrum.