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The Conservatoire, Blackheath, 23 May 2022

31 May 2022

It’s hard to explain, but there seemed to be extra positive energy around the Victorian life drawing studio at The Conservatoire this evening. Warmer outside temperatures meant two windows could stay open throughout – albeit I needed a heater for the last hour. I even thought we had more artists than usual… then realised it only looked that way to me because I had my back to the wall rather than posing in the round. I began with quick poses: three of 1-minute, one of 5 minutes and one of 10 minutes.

Inspired by the ongoing British Museum: Feminine Power exhibition, tutor Victoria Rance suggested that for the long pose I should be seated in the powerful attitude of ‘Lilith‘ by Henry Keen. I’ve reproduced the lithograph image (c.1925-30) below but at the time we didn’t have a copy so Victoria described her to me: a strong female nude sitting with one arm hooked over the back of her chair, a rock star’s confidence and a sun disc radiating behind her head.

Of course, flying blind, I didn’t get even remotely close to channelling Lilith. I lacked a sun disc and, whilst able to manifest other elements as described within the broadest possible interpretation, I rightly suspected I’d fallen a long way short of presenting the intended sum of these parts. I wasn’t feeling too distraught about this, however. I was going to have to hold this pose for nigh on two hours, so comfort was a priority. Also I was hopeful the artists drawing me were no more familiar with ‘Lilith‘ than I was…

After much fidgeting and fussing into a suitable arrangement, I felt the result probably looked quite simplistic to our artists. Even so, I was balanced on three layers of foam, had a loose sheet draped around me and one foot perched on a shifty tub, all of which meant the pose would be tricky to recreate with precision after taking a break. Thus, I remained in situ for over an hour before having a stretch. As predicted, it was a tough getting back into position, but I then went the distance: ‘Steve as Lilith‘. Kind of. 🙂

From → Art

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