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The Conservatoire, Blackheath, 30 April 2018

3 May 2018

Are you going to write horrible things about me?” asked tutor Victoria Rance. In jest, I replied, “Of course!” …but of course not really. We were talking during the final break of what had been a rather uncomfortable 2-hour pose. In fairness, I’d been gifted some very simple long poses for my February and March visits to The Conservatoire so I was due a tougher shift, First, however, the short poses: 1, 1, 1, 5 and 10-minutes.

Before we started, while artists were still arriving, Victoria demonstrated the long pose she wanted me to attempt: sitting down, leaning forward, with one forearm across one leg and my forehead resting upon the arm. Appropriately, it was to represent ‘despair‘. Cometh the hour, I sat on wooden steps and fidgeted to find a sustainable attitude yet couldn’t quite make it satisfactory. Time was pressing, however, so I settled in haste.

The mistake – as I discovered during the course of the first twenty minutes – was that either I needed to be sitting farther back on the step or to have my feet planted further away from my body. As it was, with one foot angled back and my head over my shins, it meant my centre of gravity was too far forwards and my legs would have to strain all evening to prevent me from slipping. The second 20-25 minutes was the worst.

It’s funny to look at the photos now as I can’t see anything amiss, but trust me when I say every physicality has limits within which it can be rearranged in complete comfort. Go beyond that threshold by even the tiniest degree, however, and discomfort will take a grip, eventually amplifying to a point where no amount of minor muscle manipulation will bring relief. Never mind, though! Artists appreciated the effort and captured it well.

From → Art

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