Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Life Drawing as Performance and Entertainment

As those who have read my novel ADVENTURES OF A NUDE ART MODEL will be aware, I'm super fanatical about life drawing. I'd love it to become a mainstream activity that anyone even vaguely artistic has a go at, and just as importantly, I'd love life modelling to become something that adults of all ages with a desire to challenge themselves embrace out of sheer devotion to it. If ADVENTURES OF A NUDE MODEL could persuade just one person to bare all for art, then your Cassie would be an extremely proud author!

That said, even just a few short years ago when I was a student, life drawing studios could sometimes be quite stuffy and restrictive, their church-like atmosphere and stilted protocols stopping the artist and model from engaging with each other as full-bloodedly as they otherwise might. But thankfully, things are starting to change, with more and more art classes offering sessions that blend traditional life drawing with something akin to performance art to create memorable events centred around the nude figure.

A good example of this new breed is London Drawing. I haven't been lucky enough to attend any of their sessions as I live in the wrong neck of the woods, but they look great fun and so inventive. Here, for instance, are a few pics from an event they recently staged in which two hapless, unclothed ladies fall foul of a demonic figure called the Lairy Godmother (played by noted young artist Susannah Pal):

The whole thing looks like an absolute delight, with the models striking deliciously abandoned poses and Susannah Pal hilarious in her demonic role. Events like these are a confirmation of something I strongly believe in - that, in the right context, the nude figure can be enjoyed and celebrated as a really lovely source of entertainment and relaxation. If you're feeling down and you want to cheer yourself up, don't pop a pill or have a drink - book yourself into a life class and enjoy the beauty of the naked human form. Or, better yet, take off your clothes and be that beauty.

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