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The Art of Isolation, London, 8 January 2023

14 Jan 2023

This was my first life model booking of 2023 – indeed my first in over 6 weeks – and I confess I misjudged. Inspired by a fleeting stance I’d observed during a performance of ‘One Man Poe‘ by Stephen Smith at King’s Head Theatre the night before, I set my opening 10-minute pose: upright, leaning back upon a wall with my right forearm whilst twisting left and reaching out to point with my left hand…


Artwork by Cliff Barden.

Only 10 minutes. Rock solid for the first three or four at least. After that, I don’t recall whether mental doubts or physical tremors made the first insidious intervention. Soft, soft, soft, the tremors came; my right arm yearning to slip along the wall, my left arm willing to dip, my torso taxed of resolve. Only 10 minutes. Then the artists graciously acknowledged my struggle… and we moved on to the next 10 poses.


Artwork by Helen.

Artwork by Helen.


Artwork by Frank Gambino.

Shorter poses followed: three of 1 minute, three of 2 minutes, one each of 3 minutes, 5 minutes and 8 minutes. I set about these with vigour, variety and a great deal more self-awareness and common sense. Poses can venture to a threshold of pain but are not obliged to cross it. We concluded the session with a 1-hour pose; 15 minutes to a tea break, and a further 45 minutes to the end.


Artwork by Jacqui Hamer.


Artwork by Valeria Pilloni.


Artwork by Elin.


Artwork by Helen.


Artwork by Cliff Barden.


Artwork by Frank Gambino.

Notwithstanding my early discomfort, I thoroughly enjoyed this return to modelling. It had been a pleasant surprise to be booked for South East London Life Drawing at The Art of Isolation so soon after my last visit in November 2022. There’s a lovely feeling of easy-going appreciation and enthusiasm from the artists that can’t help but encourage a model to give their best. Quite a few familiar friendly faces here too.


Artwork by Sophia.

Artwork by Sophia.

Once we had finished, artworks were shared around the floor of the venue and later around social media. It’s a gift that keeps giving, to see inspired drawings of oneself as they emerge online over subsequent days. Most are enthusiastically reshared on the @isolationartlondon Instagram account. Many thanks to everyone who tagged me directly, @steveritterlife – I hope I’ll see you again in person soon!

From → Art

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