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Lochaber Hall, London, 2 April 2022

6 Apr 2022

I’ve always been one who feels the cold. You might think it strange then, that I should pick a career demanding nakedness in all seasons. For me it’s simply a calling rather than a choice; barring ridiculous extremes, its elements will be embraced or endured. As I walked past frost-covered cars after a night of sub-zero temperatures, I guessed this 9:30am session at Lochaber Hall would call for a degree of endurance…

Usually if I have two heaters on the go and I’m offered a third, I’ll catch myself saying, “No thanks, I’m fine.” Even if I’m actually rather chilly, a false futile machismo kicks-in and insists I can take it. Mercifully, on this occasion my rational brain managed to get the first word in, responding, “Yes, please!” In fact, I could have asked no more of the group’s organiser, David. He’d switched on all the radiators long before I arrived.

Temperatures outside tarried at single-digits so, notwithstanding radiators or heaters, three hours in a cavernous hall with windows that won’t fully shut and a door missing from its hinges, was fated to have cool spells. What to do but go at it with full vigour? We started with ‘warm-up’ poses: seven of 5-minutes and ten of 1-minute. These did indeed warm me up. Not least because I felt the artists’ appreciation of my efforts.

The rest of the session was occupied by a single 90-minute pose: 40 minutes took us to our tea-break, then a further 50 minutes took us to the end. I was asked to assume an upright seated position with assorted angles. Bread and butter for me, though with care not to duplicate any of my previous long poses here. Variations were added and comfort was maintained, to an extent that no additional stretch breaks were needed.

By my own misjudgement the first 40 minutes were a tad nippy. After attending to the heaters’ alignment and dragging them all a few inches closer, however, the latter half was comparatively snug. And therein lies much of what it is to be a life model; finding in each situation the optimum blend of artistry and discovery, intuition and practicality both to inspire and survive. Maybe that’s what all art is: inspiration and survival.

From → Art

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