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Garrett Centre, London, 16 April 2014

18 April 2014

Wednesday evening saw me revisit the Garrett Centre to work for Adrian Dutton. As per my last time in Bethnal Green, I was paired with another male life model.

As is typically the case, my first meeting with Miguel was a mere five minutes before we were to start striking dynamic poses together. No time to rehearse or talk through ideas or discuss specialities or limitations. We simply entered the circle of expectant artists, shed our garments and made it up as we went along.

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A 10-minute opening handshake was followed by four quick-fire one-minute poses, two three-minutes poses, a five-minute pose and a 10-minute pose.

My toughest work of the evening came in the next 15 minutes. We stood as though Miguel was whispering in my left ear, with me craning sideways to hear him, my left arm around his shoulders. Too much weight on my left leg and too much twist in my right side meant I was in a fair degree of pain from the second minute onwards.

Sometimes very small muscle adjustments can alleviate such discomfort, but on this occasion none of the usual techniques worked. The show must go on, however. I’ll be sure to learn from it. For the final five minutes before the break I lay down on the floor, with Miguel pretending to check my heart and pulse.

After a light repast of garlic bread, pizza, crisps, Jaffa cakes, marshmallows and tea, we closed with a 15-minute and 20-minute pose. We stood for the first, my right arm around Miguel’s right shoulder and left hand on his left shoulder. For the last I sat on the floor and held up a wooden pole, with Miguel poised as if to karate-chop it.

All in all, I think we did pretty well. Certainly the artists created outstanding drawings and sketches from the challenges we set them  their spontaneous applause at the end was much appreciated.

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