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Brockley Adult Education Centre, London, 24 September 2019

3 Oct 2019

First time life modelling at any adult college – in this case Brockley Adult Education Centre – there’s only one thing truly certain: paperwork. No doubt it’s required by law rather than something they do for fun, but it meant that when Esther and I arrived for this duo session we needed our passports, bank details, National Insurance numbers and had to complete two sets of forms. Only then could we navigate to the art room…

Awaiting us inside was tutor, Joanna McCormick. I’d previously posed for Jo’s group at Little Nan’s Bar in Deptford back in June, where one of the artists here today had also been drawing. In fact, only two artists would be drawing us at this session, which was a regrettably low number but it did give proceedings a more relaxed intimate feel. We began with five 1-minute poses, followed by 3, 5 and 10-minutes to a first break.

I’m never sure if it’s confidence, bravery, complacency or folly that motivates artists to attempt capturing two intertwined figures in just 60 seconds. Whatever the case here, it was done staggering well. The best I’ve ever seen for duo poses at such speed. We resumed with a 15-minute pose for which we were slightly apart, connected by gazing eyes and hand contact. A 45-minute reclining cuddle took us to the next break.

Whilst the artists popped out to get coffees, Jo handed Esther and me a third piece of paperwork; the first two had been registration for employment whereas this was a pay claim. I do wonder whether the cost of processing such bureaucracy might be greater than the value of any potential fraud it could prevent. But, whatever. For our last pose, Esther chose to recline gently downwards whilst I sat cradling her legs for 50-minutes.

With early autumn sunshine streaming through the windows and good-natured spirits in the room, this was a very pleasant afternoon’s work. Unless more artists are found for the course, however, it seems doubtful that all our form-filling could lead to further duo bookings. And the punchline? Receiving emails six days later, informing us there was one more document that needed to be completed… Ah, but it was a lovely day.

From → Art

One Comment
  1. boykog permalink

    Lovely read, art v. buraucracy! That made me laugh, reminiscent to the auld socialist time in Bulgaria, where the most important ocupation was the form filling, stamp thrashing, signature veryfying and archiving of scores of now obsolete papers.
    What else we could possibly do in the name of ART?

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