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Rhodes Avenue Primary School, London, 3 October 2018

6 Oct 2018

On my fifth visit to Rhodes Avenue Primary School, I found myself life modelling for parents in a third different space. After two sessions in the art room and two sessions in the large hall this was our first time in the small hall. We began with three poses of 3 to 5 minutes (fluid times), which our eight artists captured using loose scribbly lines. Next came poses of 6 and 10 minutes in front of the gym climbing frames, and then a 20-minute pose in a crucifix stance, holding the frames while artists drew the negative spaces around me.

There isn’t a half-time interval in these sessions, but there’s often time between poses for the artists to appreciate each other’s work and for group organiser Rosie to explain different techniques. For this evening’s final pose lasting 40-minutes, Rosie suggested drawing big. Huge rolls of paper were brought out, from which each artist cut a strip of about two metres and taped it to the floor. Further tape was glued onto the paper as a representation of the gym frame. Then each artist took a brush fastened to one end of a thin pole and commenced floor painting whilst standing directly over their sheet.

I watched with detached curiosity from my perch on top of a vaulting frame. It’s highly unusual for me to be able to see artworks being produced. Usually the paper is either angled away from me or beyond the limits of my short-sightedness. Rosie shared out Turkish delights and – apart from one artist who preferred sticking to traditional pencil drawing – everybody threw themselves into the challenge with great spirit. At the end, one artist said she struggled to draw me when I’d first modelled for the group but now she felt she’d got the hang of me. Loose lines and lots of fun can do that.

From → Art

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