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Canada Street Studios, London, 22 January 2022

25 Jan 2022

Some life drawing groups were determined to keep going throughout the coronavirus pandemic by any legitimate means. Others went into hibernation back in March 2020 and have not been seen since. And others, like the group of artists at Canada Street Studios, are now joyfully re-emerging. It was my privilege to be their restart model.

Upon arrival I was taken upstairs, and led past cubicles strewn high and low with any conceivable manifestation of art-making bric-a-brac, to the farthest corner. I would be modelling here for half a dozen occupier artists. After some impromptu brainstorming on how best to set the space and where I should be situated within it, we began.

I convinced myself we would probably start with a warm-up of 1, 2 or 5 minutes, tops. When it turned out to be 10-minutes, I failed to reset my mind and got a into kneeling pose not at all suitable for that length; nice for artists, but less so for my body. During the 5-minute standing pose that followed, my left thigh fibrillated violently throughout.

Heeding that particular lesson of cause and effect, I assumed more moderate though nonetheless interesting angular poses for the next two 5-minutes, then reclined upon my chair from the floor for a final 15 minutes before our break. After a refreshing mug of tea, I resumed with a 20-minute seated pose that emphasised hands and feet.

With 25 minutes remaining, I asked if there was any strong preference for a standing, sitting (chair or floor) or reclining pose for a finale. There wasn’t so, having the choice returned to me, I opted to sit upright on the floor with limbs forming a web of negative spaces. Thus I remained, absorbing the gentle ambience of weekend art in the city.

I’d only been booked here once before, back in 2019, but then as now I was warmed by the community-spirit, positivity and kindness of everyone present. At the end I was asked if I could suggest models for future sessions. Duly I put forward 10 names, and hope that any who accept the offer are able to share in the same bonhomie.

From → Art

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