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Fairkytes Arts Centre, London, 28 June 2016

13 July 2016

My friend Natansky is rarely content simply to participate; sooner or later she will feel compelled to organise. Within two years of her first London Naked Bike Ride she was organising a fresh start, at Tower Hill. Having both trained in photography and been a photo model, she started co-organising collaborative Arty Shoots. Through being part of ‘Public Bodies‘ outdoor guerilla-style shoots organised by Matt Granger, she was inspired to begin her own ‘Project Naked‘. So after several years’ life modelling it was inevitable she would eventually have her own life drawing group.

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Together with her sister, Estelle, Nat has taken over the running of regular sessions at Fairkytes Art Centre in Hornchurch. The previous (male) organiser had never booked male life models, having once had a “bad experience”, so it was something of a minor breakthrough moment when I was booked to be their first nude man. None of the eight artists seemed phased by the prospect, however. Indeed, they were all friendly, merry and talkative right from the outset.

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As an opening challenge for them, Nat called for four poses of 2.5-minutes, conveying a different emotion each time: angry, happy, sad, calm. I hadn’t been expecting to test my acting skills but it was a fun icebreaker – I snarled fiercely, stood open-armed with joy, bowed my melancholy head, and finished cross-legged in a lotus position. Slightly more conventional poses of 10-minutes and 20-minutes took us up to an interval of tea and assorted biscuits.

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For our second half the artists decided on poses of 20-minutes and 25-minutes rather than a single long pose taking us to close of play. I asked if they might like to choose my postures; they opted for one seated pose and one standing. Good-natured banter continued through to the end of the evening, making it a particular pleasant gathering to be among. Male nudity had presented no problems for them. I was pleased to have rehabilitated my gender.

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From → Art

3 Comments
  1. “The previous (male) organiser never had booked male life models, having once had a “bad experience….”
    Well, some unexperienced organisers feel a bit awkward with gender (if they are not artists) when booking models. They simply can’t disconect for 2 hours from the ‘real’ world and let themselves be carried away by the creatvie wave…and that show how important is our work in educating even participants in life drawing sessions.

  2. He was an artist too, just preferred his men clothed lol

  3. Used to attend this class but my wife opposed it. Still would like to go back occasionally as got to know Steve, Ralph, Pat and Francis quiet well. Glad Natasha has taken over and I hope see has success. We did jointly run a class at Upminster for a while till again my wife opposed it.

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