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Morley College, London, 16 March 2016

18 March 2016

Part 2 of my visits to life model at Morley College continued in much the same vein as the previous week, albeit with a reduced class. Last time there were five (mature) students present from the class of six. This time the missing person came along, but three others had excused themselves – all prearranged, nothing personal. It made for a quieter, uncluttered session in what is a very nice environment to work.

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We would begin with three 10-minute poses. Gillian, the tutor, showed me an art book with photographs of muscular, athletic models, performing all manner of contortions. I consented to attempt three of these. For the first I perched upon the corner of a table, reaching behind me with head thrust back; it was excruciatingly painful on the back of my neck. The rest proved tough but less severe.

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Next I put one knee on the table and leaned forward so that my standing leg and body made a straight diagonal. Finally I sat cross-legged upon the table, leaning to my left with my right hand raised to my head. Warm-up complete, I returned to the long pose with which I’d closed the week before. I was to hold it for 35-minutes up to an interval, and a further 50-minutes – with one stretch break – afterwards.

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Meanwhile, Esther was posing in Hampstead. Before starting she had posted online 30 photos of recent artwork that she’d inspired. As I flicked through these during our interval, I found a couple in which she’d held the exact same diagonal pose I’d been asked to assume just an hour earlier. I suppose some art books must be a standard reference for torturing models… but we love it, that’s why we keep coming back.

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