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The Russet, Hackney, 14 December 2015

9 January 2016

Life drawing at Hackney Downs Studios has moved! Since March 2014, I have been modelling for the group led by Catherine Hall at the A-side B-side Gallery, but now they’ve relocated a few paces across Amhurst Terrace to The Russet café.

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It’s a bigger space that could comfortably accommodate many more artists, yet when I arrived and found Catherine sitting outside she seemed in some doubt as to whether there would be any artists present at all. Only a few days were left until Christmas, so it was understandable that people might be preoccupied elsewhere.

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With a couple of minutes to go until our 7pm start we had one artist join us. This was all we needed to go ahead as intended. Not long into the first pose, our second artist arrived. Catherine would also be drawing, so it felt like a comfortable session – albeit perhaps not the most profitable from an organisation point of view.

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Poses in the first half were 10-minutes, 5, 4, 3, 2-minutes, then three lots of 1-minute poses, three lots of 30-second poses, and finally a 20-minute pose up to the interval. There were just two poses after our break: 15-minutes and 23-minutes. Seated poses were favoured for the longer work – which suited me fine – whereas the shorter poses were a good winter warm-up.

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I will always have an affection for the A-side B-side Gallery as I’ve modelled at some thoroughly enjoyable sessions there. This new space feels good though, and I’ll look forward to the chance of returning one day, hopefully in busier times.

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