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Telegraph Hill Centre, London, 2 October 2014

11 October 2014

No sooner had I posted on Facebook that my modelling and performance week could scarcely get any busier than up popped a new opportunity. Well what is one to do? It was in two evenings’ time, I happened to be free, so I volunteered.

This work was especially appealing as it was with a new life drawing group launched by Alexandra Unger – a vastly talented artist, performer and sometime model. We had met once before, participating in the Mud Circles installation for Adam James on a very chilly February afternoon back in 2012.

I arrived in plenty of time but was mystified by how to get in the venue. Partly I was distracted by the adjacent Hill Station café, where I’d modelled once before with Spirited Bodies. Luckily I bumped into Alexandra on the pavement outside, so we entered together and began setting-up for a 7:30pm start.

Six artists joined us; Alexandra herself would also be drawing. After some amicable haggling between artists over whether to start with a 20 minute or 5 minute pose, an accord was reached: I began with a 10 minute standing pose.

To a Julee Cruise soundtrack, we continued with another 10 minutes standing, 10 minutes seated and a further 15 minutes standing, taking us to a break. Alexandra made tea and talked with us about ‘drawing with the right side of the brain‘ – a methodology that seemed both intriguing and daunting when my strewn limbs had already provided ample challenge.

For the final hour I posed 10 minutes standing, 20 minutes seated, and 30 minutes laying down. Limbs were strewn more than ever, but for me the main challenge was staying awake. My day had started at 3:45am. Come 9:30pm, I didn’t mind that the first faint chill of autumn had begun making itself felt.

All done, I quickly dressed and we packed away. Artist feedback for Alexandra was upbeat, so signs are good that this young group will thrive. At some point during the evening my phone battery died, which meant I couldn’t take any photos of drawings. Still, here’s what Alexandra herself created and kindly emailed to me.

telegraph-hill-20141002

It’s a fantastic reminder of why I put myself forward to model whenever the opportunity arises. I still find it a humbling privilege to be drawn so well.

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