Salsa Time!

Onions, garlic and a beer

Onions, garlic and a beer

Well, it’s getting on to Fall and time to start the salsa making. I like to roast everything outside on my barbeque. It’s the right time of the year a fire in the outside fireplace. I usually buy my tomatoes and chillies at Sunrise Market on Powell Street at Gore.


I roast everything on the cowboy grill. It’s a classic! Made from iron, it has collapsible legs – it would sit perfectly in a saddle bag for a pack trip, roasting something tasty on the Great Divide! I have a tiny grate that fits underneath. It’s the right height to roast without burning.


I like to sit by the fire with a beer and turn my veggies. Play some country music and in about an hour put the vegetables in a colander so the liquid has a chance to drain off into a bowl. That liquid is a tasty essence of my salsa. While the roasted veggies cool off I chop the onions into quarter inch pieces. Knife skills!! Another bonus to doing this outside is I cry a lot less when I’m cutting the onions.



Now the tomatoes and chillies are cooler, I skin them, remove the seeds from the chillies and chop every thing up coarse “a la rustica”!

Ready to start canning!

Bearded Ladies – World Premiere!

DSC_0165August 19th was a landmark day in Vancouver! The world premiere of Bearded Ladies: The Photography of Rosamond Norbury at the Vancity Theatre. It was a sold out screening – complete with a standing ovation! In attendance were most of those wonderful people who participated in the film. Carlotta Gurl turned up in full drag to hold my hand during the screening. There was a question and answer afterwards – according to Peggy Thompson, Barbara and I ask each other every morning: “What kind of fun are we going to have today?”IMG_7238

Kemble was a music contributor. A number on months ago my piano playing buddy Kemble Skatchard was visiting. He told me he had written a piece of music with me in mind. Good timing or what? I put Kemble in touch with my producer Sharon McGowan and she was able to put The Rod Bush Ramble into a scene. Also, because it is incredibly expensive to have any form of copyrighted music in a film, Kemble was able to composed a disco ditty to put in the scene where Carlotta and Connie Smudge and I were getting into a drag mood at Carlotta’s apartment. Big thanks to Kemble for his creativity and cooperation. To me, this film is like a home movie – with cameos featuring my favourite friends!DSC_0057

Afterwards, The Junction, on Davie Street hosted the after party. The featured cocktail was “The Bearded Lady” – although I stuck to dark rum – with three and a half ice cubes – as usual. Carlotta, again, the consummate hostess, she performed to her usual standard – ending up with her trademark cartwheel and a toss of her wig!

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Bearded Ladies: Vancouver Courier


Today it’s an article in The Vancouver Courier. The photo was taken at the back of the old Pow Wow

Cowboys, drag queens and bearded ladies — these are just a few of the unique subjects Vancouver’s Rosamond Norbury has photographed during her career. And a new documentary from Sharon McGowan captures it all.

Bearded Ladies: The Photography of Rosamond Norbury documents her life and career from her early days renting space in the back of a store called Pow-Wow on Cordova Street and shooting ads for Vancouver Magazine and Western Living to her photo installation of the same name at the 2012 Queer Arts Festival.

“We would use the street as our studio,” Norbury says in the film while sitting on the stoop of the Greedy Pig, the former location of Pow-Wow. “We had some really, really fun times.”

The film, which screens at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Aug 18, touches on themes of gender, sexuality and female leadership.

 “I’ve always found her to be an absolutely fascinating and engaging character and I always thought she’d make a great biography,” explained McGowan of her inspiration for the film.

Norbury’s Bearded Ladies exhibit serves as the centerpiece of the film, featuring women wearing facial hair and posing as male personas for the first time. McGowan says one of her favourite scenes is when the women see their new bearded looks for the first time.

“Their hands fly up to their faces and they kind of start laughing uncontrollably and then all the things they say afterwards are really wonderful,” McGowan says.

Norbury has been a pioneer in the field of photography, tackling unique subject matter and paving the way for women in the arts. She was part of the first class of women to be accepted to the graphic arts program at the Vancouver School of Art.

“She’s a trailblazer and she was a trailblazer in her work. All the photography that she’s done has really broken a lot of boundaries,” says McGowan.

She gained attention for her photography of rodeo cowboys, culminating in the book Behind the Chutes: The Mystique of the Rodeo Cowboy. She moved on to capturing the transformation of drag queens in Guy to Goddess: An Intimate Look at Drag Queens with author Bill Richardson.

It was through her time documenting the drag world that Norbury began to explore her own gender identity. She tried performing as a drag queen and wearing facial hair in public. Now she has two alter egos: drag queen Rose Bush, and gay man Rod Bush.

“It’s a little bit peculiar, but I do it with a good heart and with fun in my soul,” says Norbury.

The film shows her transformation into Rod, a homoerotic photographer whose work has been displayed at the Grunt Gallery in Vancouver. Norbury says Rod allows her to be an observer in places that she wouldn’t be able to otherwise.

“If you’re a middle-aged man, you are wallpaper, you are absolutely invisible, you’re not noticed, which is brilliant as a voyeur,” Norbury says.

McGowan hopes that the film will help people gain a greater appreciation for how Norbury plays with gender identity.

“Playing with gender is something that’s empowering and not scary,” she says. “It can be fun and we should open our minds to that kind of thing and be more accepting.”

“It’s just really bubbly, like a really kind of sweet look at gender not hard hitting and serious. Basically it’s the way I approach life,” Norbury adds of the film.

The film also explores Norbury’s sexuality, following her participation in a Human Library as the title Omnisexual Photographer. With the Human Library people volunteer to be books that others can “check out” to learn about diverse life experiences.

“I’ve had meaningful and sexual relationships with men and women and with a transgender person,” explains Norbury. “So I say, it’s big, it’s omni, I do it all!”

Norbury recounts the first time she revealed her sexual orientation, confiding in her oldest friend Keith Wallace, a writer and curator whom she met in high school.

“He said to me, ‘Never be ashamed to be anything you are,’ and I’ve always held that dear.”

Norbury is happy with how the film captures so many aspects of her life and work.

“It reflects my seriousness as an artist but it also says that I’m up for a good time. I don’t take myself too seriously, I like to have a good laugh,” she says.

She hopes that other than introducing people to her work, the documentary will also encourage viewers to be more self-accepting and open.

“Don’t be ashamed of who you are, enjoy your life and don’t self-censor,” she says. “Open yourself up to the possibilities, you never know what will happen.”

Bearded Ladies screens at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival on Aug. 18. Details at


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Bearded Ladies in The Vancouver Sun

roz_with_camera_and_horses_2Check out the link to the Vancouver Sun article!

Beyond the beard: Lady looks like a dude

Documentary follows Vancouver photographer Rosamond Norbury as she plays with the boundaries of gender identity.

The documentary, which premiers at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival this week, follows Norbury as she organizes a gender-bending photo shoot with some local women, attends events in drag as both a man and woman and wanders the city in search of just the right shot. Along the way McGowan turns the lens on a charming, infectiously funny woman who has documented our changing ideas about gender for more than 30 years.

Bearded Ladies: the Photography of Rosamond Norbury screens on Tuesday at 8:45 p.m. at Vancity Theatre.

Trigger: Drawing the Line in 2015

nude-cleaverJuly 23,2015 is the opening of the Queer Arts Festival at The Roundhouse in Vancouver. I have five pieces in the show entitled “Murder”.

Skat, pedophilia, bestiality: that is where I draw the line. Neither am I a big fan of murder.

This series revisits a photo session about thirteen years ago. It was a three day photographic marathon of four photographers to produce Fusion – a book celebrating diverse sexuality. I stated, as my persona Rod Bush, that I was only interested in shooting men.

I was born and I live as a female, however, I like to travel through the myriad of genders. It is fascinating for me to uncover the layers that build the illusion that is used to sell gender – be it male or female. “Rod Bush” is my alter ego, a full-bearded side-burned dude who also happens to be a fag pornographer. Continue reading

Bearded Ladies!!

Jasper, the surfer dude

Jasper, the surfer dude

Here is another one of my Bearded Ladies. It’s Jasper, the surfer dude. (S)he talks abut what the transformation felt like. It’s “Bearded Ladies: The Photography of Rosamond Norbury” All will be revealed…