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Fairkytes Arts Centre, London, 22 September 2020

2 Oct 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown of spring and summer 2020 had wiped out my life model bookings from mid-March to the end of August. Online life modelling wasn’t for me so my work for artists ended, but life during lockdown remained busy and I’d felt in a good place. Nonetheless, I was happy when, from mid-July, autumn bookings started to drip through. The first of these was for a return to Fairkytes Arts Centre.

Mine was only the second session for LeNu Life Drawing since Fairkytes reopened. New rules were now in play. For a start, a larger room was given over to life drawing, which allowed better social distancing. I would be in the round rather than having my back to a wall. Most eyebrow-raising from a life model’s perspective, however, was a requirement to have windows open. Fortunately for me, it was a warm evening.

Full credit to the group’s organiser, Natansky, who posed nude for the first session to get a sense of how it could be for subsequent models. For this session she joined us at the set-up, but had to depart before our 7:30pm start – her regular artists would be running the show; deciding the pose lengths and keeping time. Many of us knew one another, so trust was already there. We began with poses of 5, 5, 10 and 20 minutes.

The group had clearly been missing social interaction as much as life drawing so our quarter-of-an-hour break ended up running to 25-minutes. It’s another vital part of life drawing groups that can’t be recreated online. Once underway again, we finished the evening with poses of 20 and 25 minutes. The temperature dropped towards the end but not enough for a heater to have been desirable. Overall, it went very well.

My main concern going into this booking was not temperature or even coronavirus – I knew proper safeguards would be in place – but rather my own rustiness. It had been over six months since I last stretched and twisted my body for up to two hours. Aches and pains never materialised, however. The warm-ups worked. And now I’m back. No burning desire to fill the diary again, but happy with occasional work for good people.

From → Art

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