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The Old Dairy, London, 29 June 2016

14 July 2016

Such anticipation for this session! And little wonder as it combined two of my favourite things: modelling for The Moon and Nude at The Old Dairy – a superb venue – and duo poses with my beloved Esther. We’d worked together for The Moon and Nude four days earlier at The Finborough Arms, and had a booking on the Monday too, at The Sun in Clapham, only for it to be cancelled due to the vagaries of international football. But this one, for me, was the one to relish.

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Our poses would be timed at 10-minutes, 10-minutes, 15-minutes and 15-minutes up to a break, then half-hour to the evening’s end. For all our experience as solo models, we continue to learn about our bodies in close-contact duo poses – for example, how to manage our burdens of weight and balance against each other, and how to protect ourselves from numbness. What might seem to be a form of soft eroticism is actually a series of delicate exercises in physical mindfulness.

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Yet despite our awareness of the challenge, we cannot resist abandoning all care and throwing ourselves into poses with spontaneous vigour. The opening one was a typical example as we knitted our bodies together in a judo-like clinch. The second pose was slightly more gentle as we both stood and I cradled Esther’s buttocks. The third pose, however, went all wrong. We maintained it well for the artists, but Esther knew almost immediately that she’d picked a bad position for herself.

below: our five poses by © Drawn4ward
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It looked innocuous, but for nearly quarter of an hour Esther lost the circulation to her left leg. She was a bit shaky when finally she stood at the end, to the extent that she might even have whited-out. After pausing for three or four minutes, we continued in a sensible manner that allowed full recovery, with Esther laying comfortably on the floor and me beside her, cradling her head and holding her hand. It actually made for quite a beautiful pose, despite the circumstances.

below: our five poses by © hughluu83
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For the final half-hour we both lay down head to tail. with limbs linked. It was an easy pose to sustain, affording good views from all sides for the artists who surrounded us. Without that brief scare in the middle, this would have been the wholly divine session I’d hoped for. Friendly artists created works far superior than my camera records, and it was lovely to see The Moon and Nude organisers, too. I hope we can do it all again at The Sun some time soon… football permitting.

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