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The Finborough Arms, London, 15 November 2015

5 December 2015

The Finborough Arms in Earl’s Court has become a third home for The Moon and Nude life drawing group. I’d posed for them many times at The Old Dairy in Crouch Hill, and The Sun in Clapham, but curiously my first visit to the new venue was not to pose but to see pictures of myself at their October exhibition in the Cellar.

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In less than a month I was back as a life model, welcomed by Aless and her partner, Ollie. Just as at their other venues, the pose times were planned to be 5-minutes, 4, 3, 2, 1-minute, then 10, 15, 20-minutes to an interval and 45-minutes to the end. One of the regular artists suggested variety, however, so a couple of subtle changes were introduced.

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We started 5, 3, 1, 5 – dynamic poses, twisted with limbs accentuated. I was naked on a raised spotlit platform equipped with a backless bench covered by pillows and a sheet. Scattered between tables around the Cellar, thirteen artists observed me from behind their drawing pads. I stood with arms raised for 10-minutes then took it easy, sitting cross-legged on the bench for quarter of an hour.

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For the two longest poses of the evening I unintentionally put myself through a certain amount of pain. For 20 minutes I sat upon the platform with legs bent underneath me and body twisted backwards across the bench, straining my sides. After the break, I went 30-minutes seated on the bench with one knee raised – easy on the floor, but a back-aching balance on a narrow shelf of wood.

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I finished with an uncomplicated 10-minute standing pose, hands upon hips. After the preceding two efforts, this one felt like a recovery position. When we ended at 8pm, I quickly dressed and admired the works by artists who weren’t too coy to share them. Having also modelled in Wanstead earlier that day I felt pretty shattered, but would happily return to pose at The Finborough Arms again.

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