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University of Arts London (UAL), 1 February 2017

7 February 2017

The unexpected: I was bequeathed this booking at one day’s notice when a fellow life model had to cancel for family reasons. It being my first engagement with University of Arts London, I made sure to check in at their Holborn building insanely early. The security guard on reception knew nothing of any room for life drawing, however, so he called his supervisor. Meanwhile, the first artist arrived. We chatted till the supervisor joined us to confirm a prevalent state of ignorance.

But what if the model needs to know?” asked my artist friend.

I am the model…” I replied.

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We were ushered towards the UAL Student Union office, where a very friendly chap directed us to room HH.209. More artists arrived, until eventually there were fourteen. Intuitively, they cleared tables and chairs from the pose space so that when the tutor, Sean, joined us, we were ready for art. To my joy, the session would be filled entirely with quick poses – no time to get pains. Sean suggested, “nothing too complicated,” but sometimes one cannot prevent oneself.

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I began with poses of just 1-minute. The room was near silent, except for the regular pings of a laptop to signal when I should change. I’d rotated through countless shifts of sixty-seconds by the time Sean said, “now let’s go on to 3-minutes.” After several more of these, we moved to 5-minutes, then had a short interval before finishing with five poses of 10-minutes each. There was little interaction or conversation during the session, but I thoroughly enjoyed the format. I hope it won’t be a one-off for me.

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