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Rhodes Avenue Primary School, London, 11 October 2017

13 Oct 2017

My return to Rhodes Avenue Primary School put me centre stage for a new set of lessons. We opened with three poses of roughly 4-minutes each – I say “roughly” as all of the evening’s poses began with an intended duration in mind, but finished when the time seemed about right rather than being precision checked. Having warmed-up her half-a-dozen parents, carers and friends, teacher Rosie presented two exercises: first drawing negative space, and then drawing with masking tape.

For 20-minutes I was to stand in front of a large A-frame ladder, my elbows crooked and left knee bent. Artists were to sketch all the in-between spaces but try to avoid directly capturing the lines of my figure. This proved a tough task. Far more fun was the challenge of capturing my basic form using flat masking tape on paper, drawing over it, and then creating a graphite rubbing of the relief. For this, I stood leaning for 20-minutes with one foot upon a high chair.

There are no tea breaks here, just short time-outs for artists to look at one another’s work after each exercise. For the final pose, I was asked to have my legs flat on the floor and my body upright. I found a suitable sustainable position and stayed in it for 40-minutes, eavesdropping Rosie’s suggestions for looking and mark-making, along with the occasional chatter of this friendly group. Come 9pm, my limbs were slow to reanimate in the first chill of autumn… but I was warmed by some nice artworks.

From → Art

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