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The Star by Hackney Downs, 25 April 2017

29 April 2017

The first twenty minutes life modelling for Drawing the Star at The Star by Hackney Downs is always a good work-out. An exhausting succession of ever-shortening pose times come faster and faster: 5-minutes, 4, 3, 2-minutes, three of 1-minute, and three of 30-seconds. The quicker the work, the greater the temptation to attempt something more strenuous. Muscles begin fibrillating and may either cramp or turn to jelly during or between each pose.

Two 10-minute poses took us to a break. For the first I perched on a low stool; for the second I lay on my back with my heels resting on the seat of a high chair; that was a new one. Democracy reigned after the interval when organiser Catherine Hall invited her dozen artists to choose between one 30-minute pose, three 10-minute poses, two 15-minute poses, or a 10 and a 20. Two 15s just shaded the popular vote. I abstained, but would have gone for the 10 and 20 myself…

For the first 15-minutes, I stood in the round with a twisted torso and one hand held to my forehead. To finish, I settled into a throne-like chair at the rear of the room, directly in front of the pub’s eponymous bulb-lit star. In addition to affording me a rest after my earlier exertions, I thought it should be a welcome opportunity for artists to try literally ‘drawing the star’ but only one gave it a go. As ever, artworks were then spread on the floor for general admiration. Catherine captured the scene superbly in photos.

The evening was rounded off with drinks at the bar, and outside in the cool London air. It was a perfect end to another enjoyable session with this wonderful group.

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