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The Star by Hackney Downs, 2 November 2022

6 Nov 2022

The dry mild weeks of early autumn had given way to a cooler front. It brought heavy downpours and, for me, a realisation that all my footwear leaks. Heading to The Star by Hackney Downs through damp streets and erratic drizzle I detoured successfully to buy a new pair of boots. Next priorities: a glass of wine and some great art.

Drawing the Star group organiser, Catherine Hall, very kindly catered for the first of those priorities at the bar. Upstairs, we shut ventilating windows against the elements and allowed the pose space to warm nicely while artists arrived. At 7:30pm sharp, we began: a 5 minute pose, then 4, 3, 2, three of 1 minute, and three 30 second poses.

After our opening whirlwind of shapeshifting, we dialled down the pace. Two poses of 10 minutes took us to a break. I stood for the first in a well-used stance, then reclined for the second, attempting to construct a horizon of bodily ridges and negative space. With hindsight I don’t think the latter really worked so I won’t be trying that one again.

For the last half-hour, artists had the choice of three 10-minute poses, two of 15, a 10 and a 20, or one of 30 minutes. After a bit of debate, they settled on three of 10. Also, as I’d somehow managed to cycle through 12 poses without any being seated, it was decided I should sit for the remaining trio. The first two were on a low stool.

As I fidgeted into my initial seated position, I apologised to the artists surrounding me that it’s impossible to be equally interesting from every direction; but there was space for them to move round the room. Efforts to be interesting cost me a few aches so for the last pose I sat on the floor – still twisted and angled, just slightly more serene.

At 9pm, after some nice applause, I cleared the pose space and retreated to a corner where I pulled on my old clothes and new boots. Artworks were spread upon the floor for much admiration and appreciation before all too soon it was time to drift away into the rain. Like new boots on a wet night, Drawing the Star is ever a comfort and joy.

From → Art

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