A Grave Obsession: Beccy Dancer @ladyxboleyn
Beccy Dancer @ladyxboleyn is a UK-based artist, model, graveyard enthusiast and loyal Dare Fashion customer. When we asked to profile her for our Women Who Dare blog series, she informed us that she owns 18-20 Dare to Wear pieces!
1. Seriously, what kind of eyeliner do you use? ;)
I've used various eyeliners over the years, and to this day, I'm still looking for the perfect one! The liquid eyeliner I've always used, however, is Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Eyeliner :)
2. When and how did you become interested in beautiful graveyards?
I can't pinpoint an age, but as a child I was very morbid. I was fascinated by history and ghost stories. When I was a teenager, naturally I became involved in the Goth scene, and my friends and I would frequently walk to the local graveyard and hang out there. My interest in graveyards grew from there, as well as my love of history and gothic architecture.
3. Maybe this is a stupid question, but why graveyards?
Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I was bullied and struggled to make friends. I've never been a people person. I have always found graveyards so peaceful, and I think I gravitated towards them because I could be left alone there, away from the crowds and the bullies! Needless to say, I also find them fascinating and beautiful to photograph.
4. What is your favorite graveyard you've visited? Why?
Highgate Cemetery in London! It's incredibly beautiful and very atmospheric. It's one of several massive Victorian cemeteries in London and is a photographer's dream. The cemetery has two sides, the West and the East. The West can be visited by guided tour only and features Victorian buildings, chapels, catacombs, mausoleums, The Lebanon Circle and The Egyptian Avenue. As a lover of Victorian history, architecture and cemeteries, it's absolutely fascinating.
5. Are there any interesting historical stories you've encountered through your graveyard adventures?
There was a lady called Elizabeth Siddal, who was a Pre-Raphaelite model in the Victorian era. She became the muse of the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and appeared in many of his works. After a long and turbulent engagement, they married in 1860, but a year afterwards Elizabeth had a stillborn daughter. She suffered depression and became addicted to laudanum. She died of an overdose in February 1862 at the age of 32 and was buried in Highgate Cemetery. Rossetti had placed a journal of his poetry into her coffin, which had been his only copy.
Several years later, he was chronically addicted to drugs and alcohol. Before publishing his newer poems, he became obsessed with retrieving the poems he had placed in Elizabeth's coffin. After gaining permission, her coffin was exhumed in the dead of night to avoid public curiosity and attention. Her corpse was apparently very well preserved and her beauty intact, probably as a result of the laudanum. Her hair was said to have continued to grow after death so that the coffin was filled with her flowing coppery hair. The journal of poetry was retrieved, although a worm had burrowed through the book so that some of the poems were difficult to read. Rossetti published the old poems with his newer ones; they were not well received by some critics because of their eroticism, and he was haunted by the exhumation through the rest of his life.
6. How do these graveyards inspire your artwork?
Graveyards are generally associated with grief, loss, mourning and sadness. I suppose I fit the stereotype of a Romantic Goth in that respect, as my artwork is often inspired by such emotions and often feature graveyards.
7. Where can we find your artwork? Is any of it for sale?
I have a Facebook page: facebook.com/ladyxboleyn
My art isn't for sale but I am contemplating offering prints of my photography.
8. When and how did you cultivate your personal style?
I became interested in Gothic fashion when I was about 17 (I am now 31). I didn't really know how to be feminine and it did take a few years for me to discover what suited me. I love history and romance and would say I'm a Romantic Goth at heart, and I love empire lines, velvet, lace and corsets. I try to incorporate these into my appearance as much as I can. As a larger lady, it has been hard to do this over the years, which is why I love Dare to Wear.
9. How did you discover Dare to Wear?
It was way back in 2008 and I believe it was through a UK eBay shop! I've always struggled to find plus size gothic clothing and even to this day, Dare To Wear are the best because their clothing is specifically designed for the curvier woman.
10. How does Dare to Wear fit in with your personal style and your artwork?
A lot of Dare to Wear styles incorporate many of my favourite things, like flared sleeves, corseting, lace and empire lines! These things are important to someone who is gothic and romantic. I have collected 18-20 Dare to Wear tops over the years and they are very important features of my wardrobe.
11. How do people in your town react to your style?
I get the odd stare, but I have also had some amazing compliments about my style and make-up!
12. What's a random fact about you that you that no one would ever guess?
I have been a vegetarian since I was five years old as I don't believe in eating animals. I love animals more than people - I have two dogs at home but would love my own black cat!
Favourite music: Draconian, Tristania, The Eden House, All About Eve, Edenfall, The Sins of thy Beloved, Type O Negative, Sirenia, The Birthday Massacre, Tears For Fears, Kate Bush, Ozzy Osbourne, Kamelot, Nightwish and so many more!
Favourite books: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, The Wideacre Trilogy by Philippa Gregory and I also confess to being a fan of the Fifty Shades Trilogy!
Favourite Movies: the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Woman In Black, Jane Eyre, Stardust, Dark Shadows, Sleepy Hollow, Hocus Pocus, The Harry Potter series, The Secret Garden, Titanic, Heavenly Creatures, Crimson Peak, Beetlejuice, Alice in Wonderland