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Garrett Centre, London, 18 March 2016

22 March 2016

I am a hypocrite. When I’m life drawing – those rare occasions – I prefer longer poses; at least 10 minutes, ideally 20 minutes, maybe longer. When modelling, however, I’m fervently in favour of dynamic work. I consider long-pose bookings an important part of a multi-disciplined job, not necessarily an enjoyment – thus, I wasn’t hugely relishing my long-pose booking at the Garrett Centre, but it’s a good group.

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The trouble with long-pose work is threefold: First, the choice of pose is greatly limited if it has to be sustained for hours. Everything that involves muscular tension, balance, or uneven weight distribution is firmly ruled out. Second, it’s just plain boring to remain motionless in the same posture for so long. Third, no matter what the choice of pose, aches and numbness are almost inevitable.

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It wasn’t all tedious, though. To begin with, a series of short poses was requested as a warm-up for the artists. I went 5-minutes, 5-minutes, 5-minutes and 7-minutes, all standing, alternating direction each time. Then came the long one. I chose a seated pose on a low stool, with my left leg crooked beneath my body, my right leg hooked backwards with toes on the floor, and both arms passive. Not comfortable, but OK.

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I maintained the position for 35-minutes up to a break for pizza, garlic bread, biscuits and tea. Fortunately most artists were happy to socialise rather than hastily resume their drawings. After this interval, I went a further 70-minutes – with one late stretch break – up to the finish. Hearty applause was forthcoming, so I guess my endurance was appreciated. Job done, I shook out my pains and left, happily intact.

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