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Leah Crossley - THIS IS ME / happy in my skin THIS IS ME / happy in my skin, 2014 - Leah Crossley

Leah Crossley's bold and beautiful photographic series THIS IS ME / happy in my skin shows the female form in its most empowering and natural light.

Crossley captured these moments of naked euphoria at the inaugural THIS IS ME / happy in my skin all-female skinny dip. The honest shots are now showing at Barnabas Arts House, Newport. They depict the 65 women who took to the Southerndown sea last September; mothers, daughters, grandmothers, nieces, aunts, sisters and friends taking the rather chilly plunge in the name of positive body-activism.

THIS IS ME / happy in my skin was founded in 2014 by artist, Hazel Anderson, as a creative response to the current debate about body-image and body-confidence. Anderson has been on her own, personal journey to reclaim her body-confidence and has supported her mum with her own journey through breast cancer, and her body-confidence following chemotherapy and a mastectomy.

Crossley - a Cardiff-based artist, who is currently artist-in-residence at National Theatre Wales - captured and documented the experience, building a collection of candid images of women feeling confident, happy and free. The collection exists to support women in feeling empowered in their bodies. It provides a creative starting-point from which to keep the conversations surrounding body-image alive and active, without being connected to a marketing campaign or trying to sell women any products. THIS IS ME / happy in my skin creates transformative events that celebrate who we are, not what we look like; it is building a collection of images of real women.

THIS IS ME / happy in my skin runs from 11 - 31 July 2015 at Barnabas Arts Centre, Newport; open Tuesday - Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm, Saturday 9.30am to 1pm