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The Conservatoire, Blackheath, 19 November 2018

21 Nov 2018

Temperatures outside in the drizzle were of the single digit variety. Inside the art room at The Conservatoire, a thermometer on the wall showed 17°C but I wasn’t feeling it. The chill of my journey had permeated bone and muscle, so I remained clothed for as long as possible. Even by the second of our opening three 1-minute warm-up poses, I was still tight with cold and duly got a hideous cramp in my left calf. For the 5-minute standing pose that followed, I shaped myself like a man shivering…

It was no fault of the venue. I had a heater to the left of me, a heater to the right of me, and a heater in front of me, yet against my stern inner chill the hot air seemed nought but a tepid breeze. I forged one final dynamic 10-minute “warm-up”, then settled down onto a mound of foam and cushions for what would be this evening’s long pose. I took time fidgeting into a comfy position but failed to find a natural home for my left arm so it defaulted into a raised hook dangling above my head.

I assumed the arm would go dead at some point but surprisingly it retained sensation. Its only negative contribution was as a weight upon my head, which then compressed a muscle in my neck, but not intolerably. My main challenge was recalling how to get back into pose after each stretch break – contorting my body among scraps of sticky tape that marked my previous extremities. Somehow it was accomplished. Come the end I dressed quickly, admired the art, then quit once more into the freezing night.

From → Art

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