Here are some sketches from when my darling friend Clare dragged along for a life-drawing class at the Southbank Centre’s Women of the World Festival– but this wasn’t just your average life drawing class. It was an incredible tribute to the female body and mind.
The women posing in the group were a wonderful mix to draw – tall, short, heavy, slim, black, white, asian, and they created one dynamic group pose after another. What made the event even more meaningful is that whilst the women posed, a recording of them being interviewed about the idea of putting their bodies on display to be drawn was played.
The session was for women only, and was a safe space for shedding clothing without the worry of being judged or evaluated in a sexual manner. It was a space for understanding, and also a space for some very emotional and empowering interviews from the models.
I was incredibly moved by a 63 year old sufferer of MS, who bravely posed and made for one of the most lively and spirited interviews. Her speech was amusing and yet emotional, and I could barely see the models for the tears after listening to it. We were also privileged to listen to an interview with a woman who had undergone gender reassignment surgery. It was a brave, honest, and enlightening interview.
I left with some drawings, but also left with the feeling that what I got down on paper was nothing compared to the women standing in front of me.
The drawings are below, and you can learn more about the event by visiting the Spirited Bodies website – and you’ll even find one of my sketches on there.