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Morley College, London, 9 March 2016

13 March 2016

Life modelling is another country. At least, that’s how it seems when one has to produce one’s passport before disrobing. Modelling for academic institutions is notoriously more bureaucratic than work for groups in community halls or pubs, so ahead of my first booking at Morley College I had to observe the ritual of proving my identity, plus form-filling. Students at Morley can rest assured their seat of learning is meticulous in its recruitment.

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Once the preliminary paperwork was dealt with, I could begin what turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable session, for five students and their tutor, Gillian. During our three hours, the plan was to start with a series of 10-minute short poses, then take a break, and afterwards hold a single long pose that would be resumed the following week. For the short work, in the round, Gillian suggested that poses be around, on and under a central table.

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To begin with, I stood side-on to the table and twisted my torso to arch across it, holding both edges. Next I stood at the opposite side, with one knee on the tabletop. Gillian had specifically requested one pose be beneath the table; when I obliged, she asked if it could be for 15-minutes. No problem. The final two 10-minute poses – one seated entirely upon the table, the other perched on one side – were also lengthened to 15-minutes midway through, with my consent.

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For the long pose, we tried several variations of me sitting upright on the floor before settling upon one that was popular with everybody. As with the shorter poses, they wanted tension and angles, yet only so much is possible when a position must be held for a few hours rather than a few minutes. The final choice was remarkably close to the 2-hour pose I’d held at Lochaber Hall only the Saturday before. It had proved popular there too.

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A matter of debate amongst life models is whether it’s ever appropriate for photos to be taken of models at work. On this occasion it seemed the most practical way to record a complex pose, such that I could be guided back into it a week later. Gillian gave me all manner of assurances and I gave her carte blanche. There will be shorter poses next week too; I very much look forward to returning… and handing in the last of my paperwork.

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From → Art

One Comment
  1. Oh my goodness, your long pose reminds me of an almost identity pose I did in my first modeling session, and my leg fell asleep five minutes into the twenty minute pose. Oh gosh was it awful!

    Anyway, awesome work indeed. Thank you for sharing.

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