For this commission Mistress Scarlett Lush told me that she was the kind of person who would be “burnt as a witch” in previous centuries. This provided the inspiration for the portrait, by imagining her as the one doing the burning, with a victim hanging in a cage.
She wears a vaguely medieval dress with boots and gauntlets and carries a halberd and whip to tease and torment.
Beside her a rather malevolent cat (her familiar) watches us with fiery eyes.
Mistress Scarlett says,
“Getting a portrait from Sardax was such a marker in my career. Ever since I started I dreamed of having a custom Sardax piece. He is such a staple in the femdom community and being able to join the Sardax club makes me so elated!”
Young Goddess Kim inspects her recumbent slaves who are embedded to their heads in a dark dungeon beneath her living quarters. They cannot see her, only detect her scent, smell her smoke and hear the clicking of her heels . As she is wearing the tightest figure-hugging dress it is perhaps only best they are blindfolded as they are caged in chastity. She makes sure that the sole of her shoe will touch the cages as she pushes the tip of her shoe into their mouths.
Was this once a man, now destined to wait for Mistress Sakura Strike to come upstairs to play with him?
She gazes up to the moon above, ignoring the groans beneath her and muses on her next adventure.
In the corner of the room, a gentleman puppet in top-hat and tails, who fell for her charms. He danced and dined with her once but now lies discarded in the corner, waiting like the rocking-horse for her occasional visits.
Namio Harukawa, who has recently passed away, was always one of my reference points for femdom illustration. In my younger years I was drawn to his art as he was one of the few artists almost totally dedicated to the femdom theme, so I tried to find as much of it as I could. By then his style had developed a distinctive look and in the sex shops of the 80‘s you could occasionally find collections of his art, shabby bindings of photocopies from legitimate Japanese magazines (yes, it happened even then!)
I once found his art published in a more reputable collection of Japanese erotica and wrote to him via the editor to introduce myself. A short friendly correspondence by letter ensued but we then lost touch for many years.
Astonishingly, especially to younger people, I don’t think Namio ever came on the Internet – unless he lurked incognito – so if he knew of his developing fame it must have been only indirectly. I tried to connect with him again a few times in the 90’s but I only really heard about him through the Japanese blogger Homer, who knew him directly, organised an exhibition and produced a DVD devoted to his work. As a tribute to him he asked me to draw my own face-sitting art for the cover.
Harukawa’s range was somewhat limited, it has to be said, but magnificently obsessive. Facesitting was his universe and he rarely strayed from that. If he drew whipping or shoe worship, for example, it would seem forced as if he had little interest. Moreover his women were very much of a bulkier type, unusual amongst Japanese, and maybe for that very reason so attractive to him. It is interesting to track his development of this. When he started drawing for the SM magazines of Japan in the 1970’s – either by choice or because it was requested – his women were normally proportioned. The line drawings were proficient and charming but unremarkable. As the years progressed the Namio Goddess developed. The buttocks became larger and larger, the settings more confined and claustrophobic, the light and shadow more haunting and the dreamy atmosphere more intense.
They are still recognisably Japanese for all that; this was before the anime cartoon style ruled that every female character had to have huge Western eyes and childish faces.
By contrast the men in his pictures remained largely homogenous and uniform, pathetic and passive in their adoration at their “altar”. Rather than work under commission for portraiture as I have done, he seemed to be in the enviable position of supplying like-minded patrons with his vision and selling to SM magazines in Japan, a vibrant market which eagerly promoted bizarre artwork and amazing photography (so different to Britain!)
In latter days he supplied Megami-no-ai with previously published works but I understand he was too ill to produce anything new.
Namio stands remembered for his unique vision. I know he would have liked to pass from this earth suffocated underneath one of his goddesses but of course that never happened. He lived to a good age though taken by cancer, and leaves behind a substantial legacy which will remain one of the pinnacles of excellence in femdom art .
For this portrait I was given free rein to develop a very weird setting.
The Goddess Morning Star ( exotic Gothic Queen of the Night) blissfully chooses and examines her whips, imagining the torment they will inflict.
In the background her sacrificial victim awaits, bound securely by an…insect, is that ? Some rather invasive huge flowers hover nearby as tendrils from bizarre plants hold him fast.
An excursion into a dark and unsettling fantasy world…
An exotic garden in South Asia.
The slave is fixed to an elaborate metal frame above an ornamental pool, awaiting the cruel whip of Lady Saintlawrence.
She looks round towards us as she prepares to apply the first stroke to his clear taut flesh. To the side other slaves await their turn and shiver in fear, though simultaneously yearn for her brutal efficiency.
Though Lady Saintlawrence can be cruel and merciless towards her slaves, I discovered her to be a very warm and engaging personality on meeting her in London for one of my personal sketches (above).
She is the founder of AMYSTIQUE INTERNATIONAL, the society promoting femdom throughout South Asia and though based in Amsterdam has an international travelling lifestyle.
For this commission I had a pretty open brief. The email said simply –
“My idea is a group of smoking Mistresses standing over a naked male as they are about to flick their ash into his mouth.”
The only other unusual stipulation to this was that the victim wished for his head to be trapped in a car tyre – no problem!
So in fact rather than depict a chosen person – as is usual – I could choose anyone to draw as a model or simply make it up from imagination. As I was considering this and finding that a lot of London mistresses had actually given up smoking, the wonderful Romanian Mistress Ezada and her two compatriots Lady Yna and Mistress Lilse all happened to be in London and, as smokers themselves, were happy to pose for the drawing (see my sketches of them at the Femdom Ball) As an added twist I drew them in military outfit to add to the atmosphere of captivity.
See clips of these and other Romanian goddesses at Mistress Ezada’s House of Sinn