Port Eliot hosts the spectacular come-back of Wilma Johnson, Christine and Jennifer Binnie, who began their radical feminist performances with body-painting – after getting together at St Martin’s College of Art in the Eighties.
The group emerged from a subculture – connected with but not limited to the New Romantic club scene- which developed in London against a backdrop of intense economic, political and social change. In the aftermath of punk, and at the advent of the rise in Thatcherism, a vigorous creative energy developed in the UK which sat outside of mainstream culture, creating its own network of agents, economics, activities and events.
United by a belief in the radical and subversive potential of bodypainting whilst at St. Martins School of Art, the Neo Naturists took these experiments to clubs and parties, one of their first official such performances being at the nightclub Wedges in the Kings Road in 1980.There was also the Neo Naturist life class at the Hayward Gallery where all participants (model, teachers and students) were naked and bodypainted.
At Port Eliot this year, the Neo Naturists plan to emerge from the mud to reveal themselves as colourful venuses at the festival where they will also be recreating the Neo Naturist life class.