Move Pose Test repeat – Life Drawing


‘Surely the arousal of feeling is one of the experiences art is expected to deliver…’

(Visualizing Feeling, affect and the feminine avant-garde,’ Susan Best, I. B. Taurus & Co, London & New York, 2011, p. 1)


Exploring surface up against surface, the exchange of energy that takes place and to make an imprint of that.  To capture that exchange.  An energy at the atomic level which is normally invisible to the eye. 

Preparations are being made for a modelling/performance life drawing sessions for the First Year BA students at UCA Farnham.

It will be in a studio at UCA filmed from the sides and above.

For the Life Drawing sequences I will draw from gym work outs, gymnastics, dance & body building.  Creating  Movement and Pause, Transition and Movement.

For the experimental practice I will be using Resistance Bands and will build on the High Kicks project exploring blue pigment.  I am currently researching colour and blue is embedded in my practice.

With terracotta clay I will explore imprint and movement feeling the properties of the clay as research for further work.  The concept is for this part of the event.

Reflecting on theoretical base.  It is what it is and that is enough.  I will feel my way into the work and allow the sensory motion and contact of surface to surface to lead and develop.  Female strength is a powerful concept.

Blog diary

12th Oct 2014

Personal Training session at the gym working with ideas for the dumbell sections.  Great ideas.  Transition moves and static moves.  So that I can move around the studio, from station to station. For example, plank on a gym ball and raise one leg and Pike Walk Press up Repeat.

13th Oct 2014

Great Upper Body session and tried out some of the ideas from yesterday’s PT and pike into plank rolling a pilates foam roller.  That is so I can roll the clay out.  I have got it so that I can roll and jump it forwards a bit.  It is hard to roll smoothly. But maybe one hand at a time or very small movements.  I need to test that further.  When I reach plank I can do a press on the roller and then back to plank hold and set off back.

14th Oct 2014

The chart for the dumb bell/barbell section

.Exercise( travelling / static) Notes
Walking Lunge + Press Hold bottom position tall.5KG DB’S
B.O.R. Over / Under grip.Long holds, exaggerated stretch.10KG BB
Press up position side walk Engaged Core.
Pike Press Hold at bottom.Torso as vertical as poss.
Bear Walk Knees at 90 degrees.Hips down, core engaged.Slow + controlled.
Band pull. Horizontal plane.Shoulders back + down.Squeeze shoulder blades together.
  1. Pike, Walk, Press up. Repeat.
  2. Walk back on hands.
Feet light.Hips still as poss on walk back.
Band pull. Vertical plane.

Sourcing clay, probably from Scarva.  Grogged whiteish clay preferably.  Grogged clay stands & holds better for sculpting due to the sand added and whitish clay is not toxic to the skin.

The Gym Rings can hang from a beam in the studio.

16th Oct 2014

Srin, Steve & Marissa sorted out ten bags of terracotta clay for Monday. It is 20% grogged which is better against the skin that a higher percentage grogg. Using almond oil helps with the imprint and will hopefully protect the skin a little.  I am no doubt going to end up stained pink in places.  The Iron Oxide in the clay causes that.  As I have low iron that might be a good thing.

Beginning to think about how to use it.  I would like to test imprint and surface and also use the gym rings and ‘paint’ with my feet. Imprint/Move the Surface.  I really want to try making splits imprints.

17th Oct 2014

Collected cameras.  Gave in Risk Assessment.

Thinking about the concept behind the project.


Exploring surface up against surface, the exchange of energy that takes place and to make an imprint of that.  To capture that exchange.  An energy at the atomic level which is normally invisible to the eye. 

It is about direct sensory feeling and making an object.  So much of our world is screen based or virtual it feels important to be involved physically in a making process resulting in an object to view, touch, walk around, ponder about.  Movement is innate and connects us to a timeline of history. Feeling and emotion fuses through the movements and sensory experience, deeply embodied in the process.

The body, skin to clay, makes a connection through direct sensory experience and the exchange of energy is imprinted.  The shape of the space we occupy is delineated by surface against surface. The line changes as we move.

Getting fitter keeps me alive longer, good for someone special who will need me and that is at the root of my motivation.  That and Jessica Ennis’ stomach from the 2012 Olympics.  The effort of A + B = C, the athletes made to be at peak performance for the games, inspired me. It planted a seed of curiosity about what my body was capable of and that curiosity just gets stronger.  The more I can do, the more I want to do.

The work of Juliana Cerquiera Leite and Sheila Wakeley have been key in informing this proposed work.

Juliana Cerquiera Leite work in progress.

Sheila Wakely used ceramics to make work about an erotic encounter she had and she wanted to make permanent and external the memory of that.


Practicing dumb bell sequence and bar bell exercises, working on core, legs flex and upper body strength.

Got dietary advice for the weekend from my PT.

18th Oct 2014

Practised body building inspired sequence in the gym.  Also worked on upper body, core and stretched to splits.

19th Oct 2014

PT session checking form and finding dumb bell technique to replace bar bell exercises as the bar bell is in transit still.

Reflecting on theoretical base.  It is what it is and that is enough.  I will feel my way into the work and allow the sensory motion and contact to surface and develop.  Female strength is a powerful concept.

20th Oct 2014

For the first section of the Life Drawing;

10 x 10 secs pose

20 secs poses static/move repeat x a few

2 mins pose static/move repeat x a few

5 mins pose static/move repeat x a couple

10/15 mins pose static

I drew on body building/gym work out/ fitness flex and stretch/dance-contemporary & ballet & gymnastics.

In the Experimental Clay Research I used my body to investigate the properties of clay and to make a clay sculpture/art work to take forward.  The sensory feedback of the clay was reflected on and through the process began I began to reflect upon that and work with it more.

The two sessions were exciting and absorbing for me as an artist and Amanda, the tutor who organised it, told me it was ‘amazing’ and that I ‘looked amazing’.  Which was very encouraging feedback.

Physically the work was very demanding.


Photos below Early on in the Clay Research








above photos courtesy of Amanda Couch

A selection of the students drawings follows below
















21st Oct 2014

I began the process of casting the clay piece in plaster.  Working in carefully chosen sections.

There is an extraordinary inversion of energy in the making of the clay piece and the product of the plaster casting.

The clay work was made largely free in the air, drawing in space with my body using the gym rings.  Toes, fingers, hands, knees, legs all playing a part and in small ways making an imprint in the clay.

The clay had some malleability but less than I had supposed.  Splits in the clay made little impact, so during the second section, I drew around the splits outlining my legs, in the clay. I also dropped from the Gym Rings into the splits, so that more pressure could be gained from a little height.  It did make more of an imprint.


Detail of clay

Once cast the body parts look like they are emerging out of the earth like bodies trapped below fighting to break free.


Section 5 of plaster casting


Detail of Section 5 plaster casting

Gym to stretch my body which could feel the physicality of the day before, especially in my upper arms and hip flexors.

23rd Oct 2014

Gym, working on advised, specific recovery exercises.

More casting.


 Working on the plaster casts taking out clay residue


4 fifths of the clay  from the Life Drawing Movement session after plaster casting


Seven Sections of plaster cast





 Details of plaster casts




The second  set of plaster casting from the clay for experimentation



Digging out the clay  from the second plaster casting of the clay for experimentation


The plaster cast  from the first section of the second casting


Detail of the second casting


Clay bagged up ready to store in the clay store for reuse


There is an exchange when a surface meets a surface.  A transference; an exchange of energy.  Passing on a residue to connect with the next surface which meets it.  One upon another, one against another, one welcoming another.

It can be benign or toxic, a contamination or pure exchange.  It can be charged or inert.  As the residue passes on it alters depending on what surface it sandwiches between.

The Clay met body, then plaster, then water, then plaster again, then silicon and plastic…

The body met clay, then plaster, then clay, then plaster, then clay, then silicone, and plastic bag.  The body always acting, always performing.  pushing up against surfaces and exchanging….


The plaster casts and a film of the Performance were shown at an exhibition, Fitness Stories, at The Garden Gallery, Farnham Museum, 14th & 15th March 2015.




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