Jonathan Armour led this meeting of the Unit.
Part of the challenge we face during our intensive enquiry into/of the male body is: how to look at it anew? Previous sessions have targeted this issue via different modes of representation and disrupting our “normal” skills and approach. This evening we will be encouraged to look anew by being faced with a male body which is not as we are used to seeing it, therefore we are less able to rely on assumption or memory of how it should look. Tommaso is a contortionist.
First part: short poses between 2 and 6 minutes limited by the model’s endurance of the extreme position. To facilitate closer visual connection, I have painted some blue lines along the back, torso and limbs. Perhaps we use these as a starting point to connect our eyes, to help us ascertain the new shapes of his body, focusing on the forms achieved.
Second part: Decide which part of his body appeals to us most and concentrate on that. Either crop our drawing to be just that area, or start in that area and migrate around the body from there. 3 x 15 mins.
Lorenzo Ghiberti (best known for creating the bronze doors of the Florence Baptistry), talked about the “seeing hand” needed to really “see” the detail and beauty in the “rilievo schiacciato” in Donatello’s Ascension Relief (in the V&A).
Third part: Each of us will place a skull or a hand on or around the model on the table. Now the eyes of the skull will be the location for our eyes, and the hands will be our hands. Try to draw, using observation and imagination what might be seen/felt by those devices, which are our connections to the model. One pose of 35minutes.