This is a space for artists, life models and people who would like to explore life drawing and especially life modelling.
Spirited Bodies is mainly for women. Some events are women only, and if they are mixed, the men modelling have been specially selected by me as I know and trust them. It hasn’t always been this way, I used to welcome men coming for the first time. Too often, however, there were complaints from women of inappropriate, annoying or upsetting behaviour from some of the men. I know that a lot of the men were fabulous, but I want this to be totally safe for all women, and it was very tricky to vett the men. The problems would only arise too late. That sounds like a pun, but really the main problem was guys who seemed perfectly nice, managed to get one or more of the women’s numbers while they were really exhilarated after the modelling, then persistently called the women every day!
It’s much clearer to me now that what women can gain from Spirited Bodies, may clash with what some of the men are looking for. It sounds very obvious, but I like to be open minded till I know something from experience.
Life modelling is liberating in a society that has overly sexualised our (female) bodies, and punished us at the same time for the way we look, and for being women. To reclaim our uniqueness and natural beauty without shame is our birthright and tremendously uplifting. To share this with other women (& men) strengthens the experience. Men get a lot of similar things out of it, but for the most part have been less inhibited, more confident.
Spirited Bodies multi-life modelling events bring several models to pose together and be drawn by artists. Poses vary from the entirely organic to staged tableaux which may recreate scenes of classical paintings for example. People come to model with Spirited Bodies to experience being nude with others in a relaxed environment, for the creation of art. They want to face body issues and feel the warmth of human bonding in a way our society rarely offers; to be seen as a work of art and have the opportunity to express oneself in moments of silence and stillness. From overcoming eating disorders, celebrating the joy of losing weight, adapting to a post-teenage body, rehabilitating after illness, addressing ageist stereotypes, rediscovering one’s beauty post-divorce and making new friends to being a part in the process of creating art – Spirited Bodies has a great deal to offer.
Led by professional life models Spirited Bodies sometimes offers preparation workshops on life modelling in advance of events. Practise posing – staying still and knowing what is suitable for your body, as well as bringing out your best features. Understand the difference between posing alone and in a group; when to be the ‘star’, and how to be part of an ensemble tableau. This is about group dynamic, kinaesthetic response and spatial awareness. It also looks at the connection models make with artists and how an awareness of their point of view informs poses. Group exercises tune you to make the most of your Spirited Bodies event and give you a chance to connect with others participating at the same time.