Medieval Torture

‘Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only who finds the torture and death of his fellow creatures amusing in itself’’

– James Anthony Froude

The Medieval torture devices that were created and  frequently used are incredible in both their brutality and aesthetic, here are a few of the most inventive ones.

The Mask of Infamy
The mask of infamy brings about two different inflictions: a spiritual one and a physical one, the victims were both staked out to public ridicule and at the same time physically tortured. The masks sometimes had inner devices, such as a ball, which were forced into the victims nose or into the mouth, thus preventing him or her from wailing or shrieking. The masks with long ears represented a silly ass person, while the one with a snout or with a pig face symbolizes the animal, the human being considered dirty.


The Pear
Its name came from its shape. This instrument that had a screw mechanism by which it progressively expanded to the maximum aperture of the two or three elements it was made of. The instrument was forced into the rectum of male victims and into the vagina of female victims. The oral, rectal or vaginal pear was inflicted on people guilty of sodomy, on women guilty of adultery, people guilty of incest or sexual union with Satan, and it was also inflicted on heretical preachers and blasphemers. The torture itself was meant to inflict the punishment of the crime one had been charged with.

Witch Hunts
The world was a much tougher and yet mystical place. Mystical in the sense that religion, magic, witches and curses were true fears and beliefs and governed law, crime and punishment. There are so many incredible woodcuts depicting torture as [...]

An exploration of Will Sheldon’s taste

Creating original work within the tattoo world is an area largely untackled or difficult to manouveue due to its isolated styles falling into the categories of flash or tribal or script or geometry or so on or so on….. There is a certain safety in a tattooer cocooning themselves within the guidelines of what makes a good traditional tattoo or a photo realistic portrait.

It seems now that tattooers aim to champion each sub category and re-invent these styles to their own rather than create something new. How many more times can we all see a recreation of an Amund Dietzel snake, a lacklustre copy of a Thomas Hooper sleeve or a flat version of a Duncan X graphic?

At only 25 years old, Will Sheldon has been working at the prestigious shop Saved in Brooklyn for two and half years and creates mind bendignly surreal tattoos incorporating the brilliance of folk and outsider art into something modern but timeless rather than nostalgic. His work is simultaneously sensitive and gender neutral as well as catering towards a more intellectual audience with its humorous edge and brilliant colour palette.

His work sets him apart from anything else happening within the tattoo world at the moment, creating original work within this industry is an area largely untackled or difficult to manouveue due to its isolated styles and overpoweringly masculine environment. However it seems that these categories are rarely challenged, or if they are – they are rarely successful. This is where Will’s work really stands out like a breath of needed fresh air.

Instead of speaking to Will about the same repetitive questions that we all want to know but can guess from a tattooer, we’ve discussed some of his favourite art that inspires his work. And, as [...]

An interview with a fetishist – Women’s office foot wear placed in water and desserts.


A pair of women’s feet wearing the most mundane heels patiently sit in clear boxes of water in a hotel room, a business woman in a polyester suit sits on the side of the bath and submerges her heels in the shallow water while reading a report, nylon clad feet in tastefully safe court shoes sabotage desserts. This isn’t some form of contemporary art critiquing our modern capitalistic society and the place that women have in it, rather they are images created from the depth of an online fetishist’s mind.

Missshoeadventure is a Flikcr account which shares image of business women erotically flaunting their feet to the dream of the most specific fetishists. As we all know the foot fetish is hardly that surprising, and if anything is one of – if not the most popular sexual ‘deviances’ in existence. 

However what Missshoeadventure excels in is his truly original juxtapositions of where he places women feet in his photos. With a huge online following and endless images, I’ve been speaking anonymously to this man about his fetish and how he goes about creating these mind blowingly original images.


Hi rebasangbleu! misadventure0142 has sent you a message on Flickr. Subject: Re: Interview
Date: May 27th, 2015 Hi Reba,
No problem and thank you for your nice complements! I like to think so too. Taking a somewhat unexpected person and situation and turn it into something more on the erotic side or at least a bit more sexy is what I am after. Hence, going from the mundane to…imagination. I may have noted it before but I like to create the erotic in a non-traditional aspect. What I mean not the first thing that probably comes to mind where the subject are bound in leather and or they are nude. [...]

TRUST LTD. – the new venture from Sang Bleu and Primitive opens in Berlin

Trust Ltd. is a Berlin-based centre for events and commerce focusing on limited term collaborations with designers, artists, and corporations in order to create unique conditions to encounter works related to an expanded notion of “the interior.” Founded by Andrew Grüne, Darryl Natale, and our very own Jeanne-Salomé Rochat and run in conjunction with Sang Bleu and Primitive London, it consists of a 100 sq. m. physical location in Berlin Schoeneberg as well as an online entity.

Inspired by the 16th century idea of the Italian salon (from the Italian word salone, itself from sala, the large reception hall of Italian mansions), the centre functions as a private space of debate around the idea of the product in contemporary culture and serves as a progressive model for exhibition, communication, and sales.

Trust Ltd. is interdisciplinary and embraces the old and the new, the local and the international. The physical space is private, discreet, and has no opening hours outside of its official events. Outside of these events, it will exist only as an online entity.

Working with existing networks of research, production and diffusion (universities, labs, factories, stores, galleries, artists, designers, collectors and buyers, media), Trust Ltd. will develop limited edition products with each collaborator. These objects will be made available for sale exclusively through our online entity.

All images are from our first event by designer Martin Niklas Wieser entitled Pink or Blue which was on April 25, 2015.

Beanbags created for the event will be available to purchase very shortly.

Follow TRUST LTD. ‘s Instagram here for future updates and events.


This months post focuses on script and lettering tattoos we came across at Le Mondial Du Tatouage. It’s interesting to see how these types of tattoos conflict or are cohesive with the rest of a persons body art. Scripts and lettering are so diverse in style and substance. We come across scripture that is religious, historic, romantic, nostaligic, comical and forever enigmatic, as we ask why that word or phrase in particular? It also seems that our photographers captured mainly men with script and lettering tattoos, is there a sense of self-assurance bound to this type of tattooing on the body?  Here are some of our favourites captured by photographers Amaury Choay and Maxime Ballesteros.

Sang Bleu X Le Mondial Du Tatouage 2015

In March the Grande Halle Da Villette, Paris was home to Le Mondial Tatouage. Sang Bleu X Le Mondial Du Tatouage is a 12 month photographic series, we collaborated with photographers such as Maxime Ballesteros and Amaury Choay to document the event, people and tattooist of the convention.

On this occasion we bring you a series of portraits and behind the scenes shots of some of the convention tattooists in action.

Photographer: Amaury Choay


Torture Garden Japan

Interview with David Wood by Ira Lupu

What comes to mind first when you hear words ‘Torture Garden’? It may be a 1899 French decadent novel by Octave Mirbeau or an album by John Zorn’s band Naked City. If you’re not that into decadent literature and avant-garde music, you might just imagine a blooming garden furnished with Judas cradles, Brazen bulls and other torture devices. But if you have at least slight interest in fetish/BDSM culture and history of British underground, you surely know Torture Garden as an eponymous London fetish club, and legendary party series started in 1990 by David Wood and Allen Pelling.

Yet ‘party series’ is a rather poor term to describe the dark extravaganza of Torture Garden events. Apart from nightclub’s regular booze & dancing, they are also about radical performances, like Ron Athey and Franko B’s blood rituals; S/M messes; fetish fashion shows, and special musical acts. Kinky visuals and strict fetish dress-code make Torture Garden events a mixture of morbid fairytale and your secret sex dreams, shared in the most welcoming atmosphere.

With time, originally tiny and arcane world of Torture Garden in London had steadily grown into a whole commercially successful fetish empire — and also a travelling circus. The first country to host David and Allen’s parties outside UK was Japan. Japan, with its kinbaku traditions and certain taste for all things deviant (for traditional European mind), seem to be a perfect match for Torture Garden. ‘From the beginning, I was seen as another perv’, — laughs Torture Garden Japan initiator and long-time organizer Sota Suzuki, referring to year 2001 when debut party has been held in Tokyo. — ‘But then 10 times more people came than we actually expected. I imagined Japanese market [...]