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Telegraph Hill Centre, London, 2 November 2015

10 November 2015

Here was pleasure and poignancy…

The life drawing group run by Alexandra Unger at the Telegraph Hill Centre is among my favourite places to model. Alex herself is one of my very favourite artists, so it is always a joy to return here. A tinge of sadness, however, accompanied the knowledge that due to her impending sabbatical from these shores, it could be the last time for more than a year that Alex would be drawing me.

I will see no new works like this in 2016:

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As my current modus operandi is about living in the now, I resolved to make the most of this evening. Numbers attending the group had increased following its switch from Thursday nights to Monday nights, yet still with just eight artists plus Alex it remained cosy and relaxed. We had music, warmth, tea and biscuits for the interval. Everything was well set.

We started with four poses of 2-minutes, then followed with two of 10-minutes and one of 20-minutes, up to our break. While sipping my brew and chatting with regular artist and friend, Frances, I learned the excellent news that she would be keeping the group going in Alex’s absence. There couldn’t be a better candidate with both a passion for art and an understanding of modelling, plus a practical mind for event organisation.

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Afterwards I settled down on beanbags for a 45-minute side-lit pose, taking us to the end. I was very comfortable, drifting without danger of snoozing, until the last quarter of an hour when a dull pain made itself severely known in my right thigh. As always, one perseveres. The posture was well received, and well captured by the artists.

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When I was able to stand and hobble around to admire these works, I was genuinely impressed by the overall high standard across the group. In time, however, everyone gravitated across to Alex’s interpretation. It was a stunning piece, one for which I felt privileged to have posed.

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All that remained was to say: farewell, Alex, be happy and well abroad, we shall look forward to your return.

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