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The Russet, Hackney, 25 January 2016

26 January 2016

A few things had changed since mid-December when I last posed for life art at The Russet café. The interior ceiling had been draped with a cone of turquoise silk, giving it an exotic tent-like appearance; a vast beanbag had materialised in the middle of the pose space for me to sprawl upon; and an all-new set of artists had come to draw.

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What hadn’t changed, unfortunately, was the artist numbers. Yet again only two were in attendance. OK, a couple had cancelled late, and another apparently couldn’t find the venue, but this is such a friendly set-up that really it ought to be over-subscribed. Surely it will be when word gets out further among Hackney’s art enthusiasts.

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The strength of this group remains the helpful pointers that its organiser, Catherine Hall, shares with each individual. It always seems in proportion to what each one is receptive to, and is genuinely informative. One artist here even went so far as to say their work had improved noticeably between arrival and the interval.

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Poses were 10-minutes, 5, 4, 3, 2, three of 1-minute, three of 30-seconds, and then 20-minutes to the halfway point. After a break, we ended with 5-minutes, 10-minutes and 20-minutes – the last three all being on that mighty beanbag. I was comfortable, pretty warm and, as always, glad to be modelling at Hackney Downs Studios.

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