Thursday, January 19, 2006

I did some life modelling today for a drawing class. Not done it for a long time. When I stepped out of the changing room I was a bit confused, I guess I still feel more at home behind the easle than as the naked person being drawn.

Years ago, when I was taking life-drawing classes, I never understood this thing about a changing room. The model would arrive in normal clothes, then retire to the dressing room and come back with gown or a tracksuit, only to take them off immediatley! what's the point, I wondered, if you're going to undress why not do it right there. It seemed like an unnecessary ceremony.

But last year, when I started modelling, it suddenly made sense. Life modelling is not simply about taking your clothes off; it's a role you take on and play out. In this sense undressing is like dressing up. The moment of transition is important, and so is the separation between your life (in your normal clothes) and your job. Clothes are means of protection, they are a mask that shields us from other humans; taking them off is not easy.

I enjoyed the modelling tonight. It's very meditative, and also help me be aware of this body of mine.

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