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Monday, 22 December 2014

Businesswomen produce topless calendar with a difference

A calendar featuring the painted breasts of Cumbrian businesswomen has gone on sale to raise money for a breast-cancer charity.

Painted calendar photo
Body painter Helen Graham with Teresa Pellegrino

With one exception the models are members of Cumbria Women in Enterprise and the calendar is the brainchild of Helen Graham who runs Carlisle face-painting business Jelli Nelli.

She said: “When I put the idea to the group I thought it would take people out of their comfort zone but I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm. It’s fun but making a statement as well.”

Tracey Walker of Picture U took the photos of fellow members Michelle Moore, Karen Walsh, Jeni Banks, Helen Mackenzie, Fiona Harland, Theresa Ribeiro, Joanna Coleman, Emma Malone, Sarah Clive, Amanda Ryan and Mel Rickerby.

The twelfth picture, and the cover shot, are of a breast-cancer survivor who had a mastectomy and breast implant.

Mrs Mackenzie, 38, who runs Candy Print in Carlisle, designed the calendar as well as posing for the shoot.

She said: “It’s an intimate thing to have a photograph of one of your breasts published but because it’s a really good cause we didn’t have difficulty getting volunteers.

“We all had something connected to ourselves or something we liked painted on one of our breasts.

“Everybody was a little bit nervous before the shoot but by the end of the evening, and a few glasses of wine, we were all enjoying ourselves.”

Those expecting page-three style topless photos will be disappointed.

Mrs Mackenzie said: “The nipple is covered. It’s more art than page three, tastefully done, and the photos don’t show a face.”

The group is particularly grateful to H&H Reeds, which printed the calendars free of charge. All proceeds to the Pink Ribbon Foundation.

Copies cost £5 plus a voluntary donation. Order online at www.justgiving.com/painted-ladies or buy in Carlisle from Picture U in London Road, Nortech at Blackdyke Road, Kingstown, Skinny Gorilla in St Cuthbert’s Lane, and Bay Tree Florists in Denton Street. They are also available from Refunk’d at High Hesket Business Park.

JWhittle@cngroup.co.uk

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