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The Dellow Centre, London, 14 August 2016

28 August 2016

It has been a hectic few weeks for this part-time life model, some-time art performer. There was sound and movement with Spirited Bodies at the end of July; then a week taking Girl in Suitcase to Venice with Esther; subsequent yet-to-be-blogged poses for Art Macabre at the Freud Museum, plus a Spirited Bodies collaboration with All The Young Nudes in Edinburgh, followed by Neo Naturists capers back in London, and a Monsterlune performance at Club Hell.

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Yet in the midst of all this weirdness and wonderment, actually I’ve posed for just one single conventional life drawing group throughout the whole of August. I have Toynbee Art Club to thank for a booking that regrounded my appreciation of the essential craft: that is, the lone human being, naked in a space, without adornment or props, nothing but their own body and imagination, flexibility and stamina to inspire creativity among diverse artists over a period of two hours. It’s the purity of that challenge I love.

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It was a warm Sunday afternoon, but not stiflingly so. I’d arrived at the Dellow Centre early enough to change unhurriedly into my dressing gown and take centre stage in an art room occupied by a dozen or so artists; some were familiar faces, others were first-timers to life drawing. Four poses occupied the first hour, up to our break for tea: 10-minutes standing, 10-minutes kneeling, another 10-minutes standing, and half an hour having a nice lay down.

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The second hour saw me seated on the floor for 25-minutes, and finishing with a final standing pose for 35-minutes. No theatricals, no theme, no performance, just true life art. Nonetheless, even this brought with it a first in my experience: an artist who had never drawn a live nude model before was so happy with the session that she asked me to sign her drawing (below). I love all the variety in my work, but simple pleasures remain to be enjoyed in the practice.

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