Today I spoke to Liz who modelled with us at Mortlake. It was her first time, and is as she describes part of a journey of transformation for her.
“I had never heard of life modelling before, until I met Morimda.” Morimda is our friend who 1st came up with the idea for Spirited Bodies. She started the 1st event with us in October 2010 then had to leave it in our hands due to personal commitments. Now she is ready to rejoin us as we prepare for a big event at Battersea Arts Centre with London Drawing for The Big Draw – http://www.bac.org.uk/whats-on/drawing-theatreOct2012/
Morimda explained to Liz how artists require life models in order to learn and practice drawing, and sometimes this is nude modelling. Liz was curious and Morimda advised her to get in touch with us and try it. Liz is a health care professional who has no background in art apart from some recent drama classes where she met Morimda which are part of a big change in her life. For some years, Liz, now 39 has not been happy in her job. It pays the bills but leaves a deep chasm unfulfilled in her. When she moved to the UK 4 years ago Liz was on a journey of self discovery. It started with acknowledging that she was not happy and this was in part due to the people around her – her friends. She felt they were generally only concerned with material things and knew they would not accept the new her who changed to part time to give herself time to discover new things.
Liz checked this blog and saw images of groups of people drawn by artists which attracted her, as well as reading their comments. At Mortlake she liked what she saw – a room full of artists who were very serious about their practise, as well as a big variety of models – different shapes, sizes and ages in particular. Seeing older people in the mix made her feel at ease and encouraged that this really was for all. She thought how brave the older models must be as she herself had been worried it would be full of very young people which was not the case.
She liked that this was an area of life she could engage with in a totally separate way from her job, which she feels is necessary as if her colleagues or boss knew she modelled nude even for artists they may judge her. She also enjoyed the professional atmosphere of silence and concentration which the models and artists work in. She understood that modelling is not ‘doing nothing’ but in fact actively being present for artists and being very conscious of how you pose. Where she had worried that artists may be perving on models she felt reassured as she understood now how artists get inspiration from models. To be present in the room with them and see their art work it all made sense.
Morimda had explained to Liz how artists look for light and shadow, curves and lines, and that if you draw yourself you may understand best what it is a model can give.
This piece will be continued. Here are some images from the recent event in Notting Hill Visual Arts Festival: