Hi Everyone, and a particular greeting to the new models, artists and photographers who have joined us during the summer and early autumn. Art Nude UK is becoming a major player in the world of nude life modelling, and succeeding in what matters, namely helping aspiring models to get started, provide a useful service to artists and photographers who want good and reliable models and, most important, promote the essential beauty of the naked human body in art.
It's also good that Nude Wall is proving popular, with some really superb photos. I've made some friends thanks to this facility - my user name is "proud2bnaked" because that is what I am.
In my first message, I floated the idea of members getting together socially, especially as modelling can be a somewhat lonely profession, when one can go for ages without meeting another nude model. But what I hoped would happen has indeed happened, and I had messages from half a dozen members, not all from the North, saying "what a brilliant idea". Anyway, to cut a long story short, I floated the suggestion of a meet up on a Sunday in July in a pub somewhere mutually convenient - we agreed on the "Molly House" in Central Manchester. In the event, two people joined me there: John from Nantwich and Wayne from Chesterfield - but at least it was a start! We all hit it off right away. We had a superb and wide-ranging chat, enjoying some fine beer and the pub's lovely tapas selection. Among other things, we talked about the adequacies of the changing facilities models had to deal with, the amount of paperwork and form-filling bureaucracy involved in signing up for even a couple of sessions at schools/colleges, often for a paltry sum subject to PAYE. But we agreed that our love of the nude art world made it all worthwhile. To cap the meeting, Wayne said "we're all models - let's be naked!", which was the catalyst for the three of us to adjourn for a couple of hours to a relaxing steam bath across the road.
The meet up was also useful because we swapped details of sources of Likely work we might not otherwise
have known about. We said we should make this kind of meeting a regular occurrence, so we put the first Sunday of September in our diaries. Fortuitously, I had emails from two more ANUK members who liked the idea of a meet, namely Damian, a model from Todmorden and Alex, a commercial artist who wanted to sharpen his knowledge of human anatomy. He was fascinated by adult comic strip books - bandes dessinees- found in Belgium, and plans to get into this genre of art, by doing commissions from Europe or producing something on these lines in this country. This time, we didn't meet in a pub - instead, Alex hosted the meeting in his house in Marple, near Stockport. He generously provided refreshments, and we were all impressed by examples of his work. In return for his hospitality, we models were only too happy to strip off and do a series of dynamic poses for him in his studio.
It was also nice to be contacted by Gregory, from Uttoxeter, who was nearly 70, had always loved the world of art galleries and depictions of the nude, and now wanted to take his life in a new direction by doing nude modelling. He wanted to meet me because he had read my essay "Naked before God - Reflections of an art model" (www.life-models.co.uk/Kenneth-Fahy/php ) and thought I could give him some useful guidance. I went to see him,and he was really keen on getting started, but he was worried about how someone of his age would go down in the modelling scene, and the fact that he thought he was overweight. I told him that what mattered was to be confident and believe in himself; make sure he could maintain a pose for a long period without falling victim to the dead leg syndrome; and that artists like bodies which were interesting - even challenging or out of the ordinary - to draw/paint.
To start him off, I arranged for his inaugural session to be for a class I regularly pose for in Stalybridge, and I modelled alongside him so as to give him moral support.. He did well at the short poses, and the class appreciated the change from their usual models, especially with his characterful face. I also got him to pose with me for Ronald and his fellow artists in St Asaph, to give him experience of a long several-hour pose for a painting. The theme chosen was "The Deluge - Two drowned nudes" based on a work by Girodet. The artists said they were quite pleased by the physical contrasts of our two bodies.
The Autumn term is now under way, and I've got a fair amount of modelling lined up - plenty from art groups and individual artists, with a special project coming up for a sculptor in Elscar, in the region of Sheffield who is planning a work which will be a pastiche of Rodin's "Gates of Hell". and which will need a total of six other models besides me. This is going to test all our powers of endurance. I believe the finished result is intended to go on public display next year. Also, I have been signed up by the Liverpool School of Medicine where my body will be a teaching aid for a series of tutorials run by a Professor of Muscloskeletal pathology - I'm looking forward to this with interest.
The members who came along to the initial social gatherings wanted them to continue, and the next one is provisionally planned for the third week in October, and may well be in my place in Runcorn.
And I can be reached on 07890 661717.
I can also provide plenty of images of my work.
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