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Little Nan’s Bar, London, 3 June 2019

13 Jun 2019

Nestling under the railway arches of increasingly trendy Deptford are Little Nan’s Bar and its neighbouring space-for-hire, Grandad’s Shed. Both spaces are brimming over with colourful kitsch frippery, but I was here to squeeze my unadorned nakedness into the latter. Once I’d figured out that the large external padlocked door had an unlocked small door set within it, I let myself in and was greeted by artist Joanna McCormick.

Little Nan’s is one of several venues at which Joanna organises life drawing sessions. She originally booked me for this date way back in January, at a time when the venue was less well insulated, so I felt the five-month long wait had been worth it. We began the evening with a heater switched-on, but soon decided it wasn’t needed. Instead we warmed-up with five 1-minute poses and two of 5-minutes.

I loved the playlist. Joanna prepares the music for her sessions with every track either edited or timed to match the exact durations of each pose. Such an eclectic feast. The first 5-minute pose, for example, was accompanied by The Fall’s Bill is Dead, and the next by Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down. Time slipped away without me even noticing. I felt immersed.

The first half ended with poses of 10-minutes and 15-minutes, after which tea or beer or cocktails were taken. The second half consisted of a single 45-minute pose. It was suggested I might make myself comfortable and recline on Grandad’s couch but, as I was only feeling semi-lazy, I only semi-reclined with my head on my left palm. Strong works resulted, including brilliantly colourful drawings by Joanna herself. Good times.

From → Art

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