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The Dellow Centre, London, 3 September 2017

3 September 2017

Eight artists, one model, six poses: 5-minutes on one knee, 10-minutes standing with arms out, 15-minutes seated on the floor, 30-minutes reclining with legs up on a chair; then a break, followed by 34-minutes seated on a chair, and 19-minutes standing with with hands outstretched upon the tops of broom handles. The last two were supposed to be half-an-hour each but a lapse in timekeeping meant the sitting pose overran and an alternative ending was hastily improvised.

Eight artists, one model, two cats. The Dellow Centre house cats were at large. No sooner had I knelt for the first pose with one hand placed on the back of my head, the other pointing upwards, than I had a cat rubbing against my supporting shin. Later, for the final few minutes of the third pose, a cat wandered onto my white sheet and rolled over to lay motionless, belly-up next to me. In those unlikely moments, I doubted that anyone was still drawing the human figure.

Eight artists, one model, no music, no theme, no gimmick. Sessions here are entirely about the art, and as such are intended for purists wishing to hone their drawing skills, rather those seeking some form of light entertainment. As a model, I feel more acutely the importance of body configurations that are original and sustainable. Many of those drawing here me have a great deal of experience. The simple compliment of “excellent poses” at the end was enough to make this a rewarding afternoon’s work.

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