Stories of Women

Stories of Women events invite women to draw women – with the chance to try life modelling yourself.

In the first half of these women-only events, a professional female model poses whilst talking about her life, her experiences and body image.

After a break there is themed discussion about body politics and body image issues, with plenty of time for questions. There is also a chance for artists to try posing with the model or as part of a group. You are welcome to draw, listen, pose and join in the conversation.

Drawing materials are provided, and there is guidance for new models – no previous experience is necessary. At the end we will have time to look at the drawings, if you would like to share.

These events are open to all women and offer a safe space for sensitive discussion about a range of topical and delicate issues. Please bring an open heart and mind!

Our next Stories of Women event

Stories of Women is organised on an ad-hoc basis so please keep an eye on our Events page or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get details when announced.

Past events

Stories of Women events have featured many truly inspiring women. Most of these events have been hosted by The Feminist Library in south London, which has been supporting research, activist and community projects since 1975.

Stories of Women #11 ~ Maria and Paula
21 February 2019
Featuring Brazilian models in London who are part of the #EleNão movement of women against the rise of the far right in Brazil. Paula and Maria lead poses depicting scenes from the political struggle with accompanying discussion.

Stories of Women #10 ~ Diana
22 January 2019
Diana became a life model in her 20s, during the 1960s when she lived in the US. Several lifetimes later, she decided on a return to the profession in her 80s. She discusses how women are perceived as they age, her extensive involvement in the women’s liberation and peace movements, and why it’s important to see older people as they really are.

Stories of Women #9 and #8
11 December 2018
13 November 2018
Two open Stories of Women events at which women draw women, with themed discussion about the body politics of life modelling and related matters, as well as plenty of time for questions, and a chance to try life modelling.

Stories of Women #7 ~ Morimda
25 September 2018
The power of saying ‘No’ – from being an extremely shy person, it was through life modelling that Morimda emerged, found out who she was, and succeeded in expressing that to other people. As the inspiration behind the idea for Spirited Bodies, she is keen to empower other women about their bodies, nudity and sensuality.

Stories of Women #6 ~ Lucy
18 May 2018
Draw and listen as Lucy Saunders – much celebrated plus-size life model and co-founder of Spirited Bodies – returns to the life room and shares her experiences as a life model, including what she has learnt about her body, art and artists. At Hampstead School of Art.

Blog: ‘Stories of Women ~ the journey so far’ – 27 March 2018

Stories of Women #5 ~ Natasha
12 March 2018
Natasha first life modelled in 2013 with Spirited Bodies and has since posed for numerous artists and groups. She has also developed as a photographer, organising many nude art collaborations such as her 2015 ‘Project Naked’. She is passionate about the benefits of body liberation and helps run the World Naked Bike Ride in London.

Stories of Women #4 ~ Claire
22 January 2018
Claire Collison presents her experience of life modelling through performance. Claire is a breast cancer survivor who had a mastectomy and chose not to have reconstructive surgery. She has written about and documented her experience, and at Stories of Women she links this part of her life with her life modelling and story telling.

Blog: ‘Stories of Women with Claire’ – 24 November 2017

Stories of Women #3 ~ Hana
23 October 2017
Hana Schlesinger began life modelling in 1980 and has worked as a model for over 30 years. At the age of 70 she decided to slow down and work less, and now in her mid 70s she only accepts her most favourite bookings. She has regularly given talks to women’s groups about being a life model over the years.

Blog: ‘Stories of Women ~ part 2 with Jennifer’ – 23 August 2017

Stories of Women #2 ~ Jennifer
21 August 2017
From life modelling to performance art, Jennifer talks about the journey has made, and where she finds herself now. Being an ‘othered’ model, she identifies as female, black, queer, fat… which has its own challenges. In 2013, she created her performance ‘Waltzing Tomatoes’ with Samuel Overington, and invites you to dance with tomatoes too!

Stories of Women #1 ~ Leo
17 July 2017
Leo is one of London’s most celebrated and sought-after life models. As a larger model, she discusses how her experiences of the world have been shaped by the way society regards her. She also expresses her devotion to celibacy and the empowerment it gives her.

Blog: ‘Stories of Women’ – 19 June 2017

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