Drawing theatre – a human orchestration

steve ritter

It has become a highlight of the London life drawing calendar. An art extravaganza, no less. It is the annual ‘Big Draw‘ grand collaboration between London Drawing and Spirited Bodies, bringing together a multitude of artists and life models under one roof to do what they do best.

This year’s drawing theatre – subtitled ‘a human orchestration’ – took place yesterday in St John’s church, opposite Waterloo Station. When I arrived at 11am, clouds were breaking up and the sun was starting to shine through after the dreary overnight rain. It augured well for a good day.


Spirited Bodies’ artistic director Esther had assembled 19 life models to deliver the performances. We ranged from the hugely experienced to a very brave first-timer. It was lovely to be working again with Camila, Clifford, LaDawn, Letizia, Liliana, Peter and Ursula, and making many new friends. Special credit goes to…

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Human Orchestration, an explosion of nudity and sound

Dear Blog, this event has moved me; or rather it has been a culmination of a series of drives to ascend ourselves. We have created a new standard, a higher level of our art as models with a way to give voice to our internal thoughts and feelings, in the same time that we pose, collectively as a group. We communicate as one, individually audible, and collectively uplifted, empowered to speak back, feedback in real time, more than just a look or building up a feeling inside. This is a way to channel ourselves further into the art through the people drawing us.

I speak as if I posed, but really I was an orchestrator, conducting from the side. I was not even naked, but in my skin coloured body suit which is like being naked but with less definition, and room for a muffin top which otherwise doesn’t exist…

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LaDawn writes; The Taught Becomes the Teacher

It is one of the oldest traditions of mankind.   The ignorant are taught by the more experienced, the more learned.

A mother teaches her son to dance and a daughter how to be a wife and mother. A father teaches his daughter to change a flat tyre and a son to be a husband and father.  I learned to model by listening and learning from other models then I learned to teach modelling by watching others teach.

I observed the individuals’ natural instincts gently guiding and supporting men and women wishing to experience the adrenaline rush and confidence boost that life modelling can provide. I asked them to sit, stand, lay down.  I asked them to hide in a bomb shelter and launch a protest.  I watched their fear and insecurity melt away.

There is that first moment when you bare your naked body, exposing much more than your physical…

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