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Mall Galleries, London, 16 May 2016

24 May 2016

I arrived at Mall Galleries about a quarter of an hour early and observed the clusters of artists forming around the pose spaces; as ever at Hesketh Hubbard Art Society, there was to be a clothed portrait pose, plus 15-minute and 30-minute nude poses in the main gallery. The portrait session had attracted its modest loyal following, while a similar number attended the 30-minute pose space. Meanwhile a crowd roughly three times the size had formed a dignified clamp around the platform for shorter poses.

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I smiled indulgently as I descended the stairs to where I would present four 30-minute poses. The young female model providing eight 15-minute poses was a professional dancer, so I ought to be grateful that anybody was drawing me at all. Setting aside self-deprecating paranoia, however, I am very aware how seriously this experienced society takes its art. I was grateful they had booked me, and that an appreciation of the human form extended, for some, to a study of my own unusual proportions.

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Having been introduced to the society as a model by Esther, this was to be the first time I had worked here without her also being present; previously we had duo-posed twice, and worked solo on the same night once. It was heart-warming that so many artists approached me to ask after her, and when they might draw her next. She has modelled here over so many years that one senses the relationship extends beyond professional respect to one of community or even family. Whatever, it’s lovely.

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For me on my fourth visit, I still needed to earn my spurs. Previous visits had all been on half-hour poses too, so I’m getting the hang of it. Normally I would try to start with the hardest pose and then make them proportionally easier to balance the increasing strains my body would feel. On this occasion, however, I somehow contrived to make them progressively more uncomfortable, but not horrendously so; I was almost sleepy during my final twisted reclining pose.

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Once up and re-humanised, I chatted again with the artists. Throughout the evening, when not posing, I’d been treated kindly; engaging conversations, showing artworks, one chap even taking my details for potential future bookings. It was particularly nice to catch up with the artist Lesley Dabson; the first two portraits on this blog are her art. Following my last visit here, I bought one her studies of me and Esther together (below); it now hangs on my hallway wall at home. Altogether a happy visit.

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From → Art

2 Comments
  1. Thank you for your commentaries and posting of drawings of your modeling career. It gives encouragement to other models and insight into the modeling experience.

  2. Lovely to catch up with you too Steve, thanks for some great poses x

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