Thursday, 17 August 2017

the muse and the mannequin: nos 7 - 'a synthesis'

If I went to this 3 days of drawing from the theatre of two models and four mannequins with any pre-thoughts they were that I would be attempting to utilise, and expect to see in my drawings, the contrasting characteristics of the nude models with those of the mannequins. Particularly the gestural qualities of the muse with the rather stiffness of the mannequin. Of course, that turned out to be a simplistic approach. There was so much more on offer.

In fact most of my drawings contained brief reference to the mannequins in a direct way, except for these three. But what I believe did take place was quite fascinating in that the presence of the mannequins with their special characteristics spurred me on towards an increased sensitivity towards the qualities and characteristic of the human body. I was acutely aware of the presence of these figues sitting on or leaning against the plinths. They had an uncanny presence, at times I felt as though they were actual people watching me going about my usual task of drawing my muse. It was very odd.

If my pre-thought, above, was followed then I would say it was most clearly expressed in these three drawings. But these were not done consecutively.  The first is from day one and is in fact my first drawing of the day. I recall feeling that this was what the sessions would be about. The mannequin is centrally placed, looking to the right, and the drawing includes two poses: the female on the right has her right arm raised with her left hand appearing to rest on the mannequins knee, but mannequin and model are drawn to different scales, and then behind the mannequin is a figure with feet towards us and her body leaning away into the space beyond. Don' ask me why it is like this. I have no idea. It just happened.
The second drawing, from day two, I remember working hard at to bring the mannequin and the muse together with some sort of attached narrative. The differences between mannequin and model contrast in heads, breasts, hands and feet. I must have been conscious of exploiting these differences at the time, but not really able to recall the experience.
Then the third drawing made during the last afternoon (this was on a huge sheet of paper on a huge board, much bigger than all my other drawings which are A1) and finally did it for me. The model's upper body was clothed so I just worked on what I could see sitting on a stool.  Then I brought in the upper part of a mannequin which had a 'glamorous' head attached to it, and workd and morphed the two together.

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