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Fairkytes Arts Centre, London, 21 February 2017

26 February 2017

Esther and I arrived quarter of an hour early at Fairkytes Art Centre, yet found seven artists were already sitting in a tight arc around our pose space. More turned up while we chatted with group organisers Natansky and Estelle. In our first pose – 5-minutes standing back to back – I faced away from the door and couldn’t see what was going on, but still it sounded like every few seconds another person was walking in…

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Eventually we had an unprecedented eighteen artists drawing us, some finding space on the floor when chairs ran out. For our second pose, I reclined for 10-minutes whilst Esther stood with one foot upon my chest. Next Esther sat on a bar stool and I stood behind her for 15-minutes; finally with 19-minutes left in the first half, Esther stood tall as I sat hugging her left leg.

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After tea and biscuits at the interval, we set up a 42-minute pose taking us through to the close. It was a tried and tested routine in which we both sat on a pile of cushions, me with my back to the wall and Esther with her back on my chest. Unfortunately, we were in trouble from the outset as the cushion behind me started slipping slightly with every breath I took. What should have been relaxing became an exercise in control.

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It wasn’t horrendously painful, and there was still the sweet consolation of sharing with Esther, yet I couldn’t pretend not to be relieved when it was over. Esther peeled herself from me and revealed a large red sweaty imprint across my sunken torso. What larks! But it was lovely to see some inspired artworks at the end, and great that the session had been so successful. At this rate they may have to consider using a bigger room.

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