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Claire Tchaikowski

A great big passionate melting pot

Hello, it's nice to meet you.

 

I'm Swiss, Irish, Polish & British, born in 

Switzerland. I now live in Bristol UK with my Soulmate and our young son, via Paris, Florence, Dublin, Belfast and London.

Also the Founder & CEO of Human Milk CIC and Human Milk Clothing, empowering women and their families 

globally.

The world is a small and precious place. Let's work together.

Constantly exploring the pull between my innate sensuality, intellectual curiosity, my voice, my whole body's natural desire for expression, and the rules most women are brought up to believe - involving shame and playing small, whilst living in a social environment that tells us all that we exist for men to play with - since I stormed into an H&M age 12 to have a rant about a huge billboard of a young woman in a bikini influencing the access and right that men think they have to women's bodies.

 

I love H&M by the way. But this felt personal, because I wanted to feel safe and respected. I'm still seeking that safety and respect, for myself and for every woman. 

 

There is a fundamental difference between women expressing and enjoying our own sensuality freely, knowing, owning and fulfilling the many facets and functions of our own minds and bodies, and commercial and social use of us as sexually charged commodities that feeds us (and indeed relies on us believing) constant messaging that we are not enough and that we are fair game. The former is still a passion today, the latter still pisses me off.

I'm full of gratitude towards women like Madonna and Beyoncé and many more who have exploded the rules on how a woman is supposed to show up to be acceptable. Tori Amos, Liz Fraser and Lisa Gerrard taught me that you don't have to use your voice like everyone else if that's not what your voice wants to do.

 

My passion finds expression through music, Fine Art, and more recently through Human Milk (though these, and this website, are my personal thoughts). I dropped out of school 3 times as a teenager. I was bored, restless. I wanted to see the world and have a purpose beyond filling my brain with information I doubted I would ever need again. At 15, I took myself off to Florence, Italy, to study Fine Art and Cinematography.

 

I was a nude Artist's model for 20 years. Sculpture, drawing, painting, photography... I modelled in London, Paris and Switzerland for Sir Peter Blake, Anna NightingalePrince Michael of Kent at Kensington Palace, François Berthoud, Judith Brenner and many more. I modelled for a sculpture of Degas ballet dancers commissioned by the Sultan of Brunei when I was 17, did the odd fashion shoot, and was Sharon Stone's body double for one of her movies.

My passion for Art deepened during this time. In the street, bars, buses and parking lots, I felt constantly unsafe. Constantly being cat-called, harassed and worse. Yet in 20 years of nude modelling I never felt unsafe once. Not once. The Artists and students I posed for were focussed entirely on honing their skill to capture shapes and colours that inspired them and often eluded their grasp. Focussed on bettering themselves  On expressing through paint, clay, camera etc the emotions and visions they wanted to get out of their heads and hearts and into the world in some form visible to others.

 

I learned that nudity is not the problem at all. Rather, perception is everything. It's worth remembering that a pick-pocket looks at an Angel and sees pockets. Nudity is beautiful and it isn't for sale. It entitles no-one to anything. 

I also worked for many years too as a film and TV extra as well as a body double. I got to work on V for Vendetta, Basic Instinct II, The Virgin Queen, on Extras with Ricky Gervais (the most fun of all!), and on endless TV productions from Holby City to Foyle's War, Eastenders to Hex, to Shakespeare Retold with Damian Lewis.

 

It paid the bills whilst I was working on my album, but it also became an invaluable accidental apprenticeship in story telling, teamwork and big projects that shape our perception of the world.

I love learning. I constantly listen and delve deeper into my own relationship to the world and others, my Art, my voice, my body, my beliefs and my business... letting go of learned shame and fear, moving towards empowerment and freedom. For everyone.

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Catalogue photoshoot, sketch by Anna Nightingale and private collection photoshoot, London.

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