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The Star by Hackney Downs, 31 July 2018

11 Aug 2018

Arriving nice and early at The Star by Hackney Downs on this bright sultry summer evening, I found Drawing the Star group organiser Catherine Hall upstairs finishing her preparations. Seats circled a pile of pillows and sheets, art materials festooned a heavy table by the door, while seductively mellow music lilted across the pose space.

At 7:30pm a steady stream of artists entered, gathered up assorted drawing materials and picked a spot to sit. I felt we had the right number to give the room a good energy without feeling overcrowded. We began: 5-minutes, 4, 3, 2-minutes, three of 1-minute, and three of 30-seconds. Two more poses of 10 and 8-minutes took us to a break.

During the interval, whilst artists ventured downstairs for more drinks, I remained alone with their art. Good work all around the room as is invariably the way here, but striking among them were the freakishly exaggerated pen drawings by Giovanni Forlino – all boggle eyes, stand-out viens, knotty limbs and stupendous studies of foreshortening.

When we resumed, two poses brought the session to a close. First, I sat on the floor with arms arching forwards for 10 minutes, then perched myself on the edge of a high chair for the final 20 minutes. After the early energy of the shorter poses that cloaked me in a glow of sweat, these were comfortable positions for a gently cooling twilight.

At the end, artworks were spread about the floor and I greedily photographed as many as the shadowy red-tinted light allowed. At the bar I bought myself a well-earned large glass of wine, then joined Catherine and several artists at the tables outside for a spot of post-art socialising. Such a lovely evening spent in good company. Always a joy.

From → Art

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