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Poses past, part IX – Storey Gallery

16 November 2012

Time for something rather different. I’d posed for performance art within a group, and I’d posed as a life model solo, but not until 7 July 2012 did I get to life model within a group. The chance arose at the Storey Gallery in Lancaster, courtesy of Alan Ward. It would be a long journey north from Essex, the rail fare would eat up the payment, but it would be worth every moment.

The aim was to assemble ten life models, with a fifty-fifty gender split. In the weeks before there was some doubt as to whether enough female models would come forward. Cometh the day, however, the split went the other way: we were four men and six women, with a seventh in the very late stages of pregnancy joining us for the morning.

The event was scheduled for 10am to 3pm. There would be short poses to begin with, followed by a two-hour pose-a-thon (short break permitted), and a ninety-minute pose, then another short pose or two, and finally a novel tug-of-war pose with all models pulling on a rope fixed at one end of the gallery. A musician was employed to provide gentle live music from one corner. Artists assembled in great numbers, possibly as many as fifty, and gave a marvellous ovation of applause when the end came.

This was a wonderful day on many levels: Alan’s organisation was quietly meticulous and impeccable, the artists showed generous appreciation and produced some fine works, the models were superb company, and the experience – I hope – made me a better model myself.

After the event I joined fellow models Yvonne and Martin Rowe – whom I’d previously worked with on Existere – for coffees. They generously kept me supplied before my long journey south, as we reflected on projects past and projects yet to come…

That’s me standing in the top two works, and Martin and Yvonne standing in the foreground of the lower work.

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