In response to an overwhelming majority of applications we receive to model coming from men (at last night’s workshop, 13 out of 15 new models were men), we are going to drive an initiative towards finding more women. To do this, we will programme some Women Only Life Modelling Workshops. The first 2 will lead up to International Womens’ Day – March 8th, and our event at Women of the World Festival, Southbank which will be on Saturday March 9th, 3 – 5pm in the Blue Room, Spirit Level! We can confirm that you will need a vagina to attend.
Possibly our most exciting event to date – it’s been 2 years in the making. At the 1st WoW festival I told the celebrity panel about Spirited Bodies in a bid to suggest the best way to improve womens’ lives (i.e. make them happy with and in their bodies). At this time in Spring 2011 Spirited Bodies was still just for women as it was when we started it. Jude Kelly, the artistic director responded immediately promising to host Spirited Bodies at Southbank. Annie Lennox however thought it ought to be for men too, as they had lots of pressure on them as well to look a certain way. Sandi Toksvig felt nervous about modelling herself, being in the public eye, and suggested other celebs would also. I had possibly confused the matter by stating that ideally we would find famous artists to draw so that we could auction their work to raise money for women in developing countries. Too many ideas all at once… I had 5 minutes to speak to some very influential people and I didn’t know how to contain myself.
So it’s finally happening. We are inviting some of our female Spirited Bodies who don’t mind talking about their experiences and demonstrating the modelling before we invite the audience to strip off too. We discussed the possibility of having men present and decided this is the one most appropriate place to try out just having women – and we mean artists as well this time. Men have become a big part of our events and we love it that way. But there needs to be a space to redress the imbalance. Lots of cultures segregate sexes at certain times, and sometimes this is empowering for each.
On Thursday 28th February in Stoke Newington will be our first Women Only evening (see Events) followed by a second in Brockley on Tuesday 5th March. You might want to have a go to practise in time for Southbank, or you may just fancy a friendly, comfortable place to explore femininity in all its glorious form without the distraction of the male gaze. Lucy and I cover a vast female landscape between us; please join with us to expand our womanly horizons with all your uniqueness. We welcome existing Spirited Bodies and especially new recruits. You don’t have to get your kit off, but you will be stuck with the task of drawing curve after curve, bump after buttock until your arm aches if not. Female artists are of course requested, and joking aside, posing with clothes on is fine too. We normally charge £10, but in Brockley as we are part of the Telegraph Hill Festival, we operate a ‘pay what you prefer’ system; in any case if money is a problem, do ask for an alternative. We will for example need assistance at the Women of the World Festival in (wo)manning a stall for the duration (this could actually be done by guys equally).
Here follow pictures of artwork created at yesterday’s workshop.