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Shine, London, 11 March 2020

11 Apr 2020

It’s been precisely one month since this evening of life drawing at Shine in Haringey, north London – my last life modelling gig before the coronavirus lockdown. People in the UK had begun dying of COVID-19 only the week before, and there was a shared sense of foreboding that all our lives would soon undergo a fundamental upheaval…

In spite of this – or more likely, because of it – everyone seemed determined to enjoy life, liberty and happiness together before isolation was enforced. There was a strong turn-out of artists at Life Draw Shine, all keeping calm and all carrying on. Organiser Ruth Pickard got us underway with poses of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 10, 10 and 10 minutes.

One person left us during the break, apparently more overwhelmed by six foot four of nude angles than by fears of a global pandemic. Others remained resolute and it was nice to chat about passions rather than pathogens. For the second half, I resumed by perching on the edge of a high stool with my torso twisted and left arm bent forward.

After 15 minutes on the stool there was time for one final pose of 35 minutes. I asked the group whether they would prefer me standing, sitting or reclining and got greatest encouragement for a seated pose on the Shine sofa. Fine by me. I settled myself into an agreeable composition. It was to be my last pose until… who knows when?

Such is the community spirit of this group that when the session was over, most went to the pub together. As for the rest of the life drawing world, many groups have opted to run online alternatives. Good luck to them all. Barring exceptional circumstances, I will leave their scarce modelling opportunities for those most in need. Stay safe!

From → Art

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