Hello, I am the model, now let’s put you on a Pedestal

Tomorrow is our 1st workshop of the season and Steve who modelled with us in Mortlake is kindly stepping into the breach; as the new models arrive he will be in pose, greeting them with a cracker to get their teeth into. Whether they are familiar with drawing or not, all will be introduced to charcoal and paper so that they can analyse poses from an artist’s perspective. Seeing the model like that shows one how hard drawing is and how technical before expression is really unleashed.

Each new model will have a chance to pose and be drawn, and we will build up the number of models so that we can have a look at tableaux. New models don’t have to be nude as we will be, but if they want to be that’s fine. Just getting used to being still and watched intently is enough for some; there’ll be plenty of time for birthday suits on October 20th which is in fact Spirited Bodies 2nd Birthday! In October 2010 Morimda called me up to get Lucy’s number – she’d heard what a great organiser Lucy is. I was intrigued and Morimda said she’d send me the brief. ‘Find 20 women to pose nude for artists in one month’s time at the Mall Galleries‘. Wow – there were extra bits about selling the paintings at an auction to raise money for charity, something which has not yet manifested but hasn’t been forgotten. We are just waiting for the right collaboration. With London Drawing the emphasis is more on theatrical life drawing; when we team up with the bang on feminists at Southbank there will be a stronger impetus to push the fundraising element. Time darlings is on our side and everything happens in the right time.

We only found 9 women in the end, but it did not feel too few. They were various ages and shapes, sizes… with different reasons, and they were all new to it. We didn’t coach them beyond encouraging emails and on the day it was a massive rush as the format at the Mall is intense with very little time either side, but my Goodness it worked and it was magic! After that Morimda got busy elsewhere, Lucy was baffled by the craziness of it all – why should it work I mean rationally how is that project going to have a future?! And I couldn’t let it go. It wanted to happen and my main other project was writing a play about my family which was far too close to the bone. I needed a damn good distraction which is exactly what Spirited Bodies was.

I’m getting excited about this big event coming up and beyond as well. Some of the people who model with us are professionals – including some actors – and some have come back to us once or more and with these models amongst the totally new ones it really will be possible to create a variety of striking tableaux all at once. Think I’ll count down the days to 20/10/12 as we prepare the icing for a very special cake.

Published by esther bunting

Performer, artist, writer

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