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Harmony Hall, London, 28 February 2022

9 Mar 2022

What happened to winter? During February 2021, enough snow fell for the kids in my street to erect a snowman seven feet tall. By contrast, this final day of February 2022 felt typical of the past three months as I walked the streets of Walthamstow, through mediocre mists of rain and stubbornly single-digit temperatures.

More uplifting was the prospect of modelling for a group I’d never worked with before, at a venue I’d not previously known. Familiarity in life drawing had been hard to come by during the pandemic, novelty was nigh unknown, so with keen anticipation I defied dreary elements to visit Harmony Hall for Walthamstow Lifedrawing.

I arrived plenty early, as always on début, but was given licence not to help set-up an oval of brightly-coloured trestle tables; at the heart of which I would be posing. Artists arrived, I entered the round, I disrobed, and we commenced: four poses of 5-minutes to get us warmed-up.

Pose times then lengthened in five-minute increments. I sat upright upon the floor for 10 minutes with left arm resting on my upraised left knee. Next I stood for 15 minutes with arms folded behind my back. Taking us to a break, I returned to the floor and sat side-saddle clutching an ankle for 20 minutes.

One of the nice things about a first-time appearance at any group is being able to run through a set of well-practised signature poses without feeling guilty that artists might have seen them all before. The second half was to have just one pose of 25 minutes, for which I was encouraged to recline. Cue another signature pose: one arm raised.

During the interval I was asked time and again whether I was warm enough. Indeed I had been warm enough, so I made the mistake of declining another heater. Down on the floor, however, it got very chilly. But it was only for 25 minutes… and the artworks created were fantastic… and such a friendly group! Good times, nice people.

From → Art

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