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The Star by Hackney Downs, 20 October 2021

31 Oct 2021

Oh happy day, Tuesday 7 September, when after an absence of 18 months, Drawing the Star life drawing returned to The Star by Hackney Downs. We’re post-lockdown but still mid-pandemic, so organiser Catherine Hall is rightly taking care to safeguard all attendees. My own return was on 20 October. I could barely wait to get started!

This venue, the group, the format, the music, the atmosphere, the organisation, have always energised me whenever I’ve modelled here. We began with very quick poses: 5, 4, 3 and 2 minutes, then three of 1 minute and three of 30 seconds. Working in the round, I knew what the next pose would be only a few moments before the artists.

After this whirlwind of standing, kneeling, reaching, cowering, twisting and stretching contortions, I needed to sit down and take a breather. I draped my trusty white sheet over a footstool and perched upon it, hands on thighs, with my left leg fully extended for the gratification of a toe enthusiast amongst the artists. 🙂

Having sat for 10 minutes, I got back on my feet for one more 10-minute pose before the break. I kept it simple: body vertical with right foot a short pace forwards, arms at my sides and hands clasped below my buttocks. As a pose, it doesn’t feel especially angular but the artists’ drawings demonstrate it’s just a matter of perspective.

To fill the last half-hour, Catherine offered her artists a choice: three 10-minute poses, two 15-minute poses, one 30-minute pose, or a 10 and a 20. It appeared half wanted three 10s and half wanted the 30 so our compromise was a 10-minute and 20-minute pose. I started with a standing cringe, left hand on head, right hand on knee.

For the long pose I was seated once more. This time, rather than draping the sheet I folded it beneath me so my own legs and those of the footstool would remain in view from all sides. With limbs comprehensively angled, I settled down in unlikely comfort to enjoy the final moments of a splendid session.

Applause at the end of both halves is a hopeful sign that a good time was had by all. Certainly there were some great drawings to show for it. As ever, these were spread upon the floor for general admiration. Works by professionals and amateurs lay side by side; the enjoyment of art-making is truly a gift for everyone.

From → Art

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