Alexandra Carson chats to artist's model Freyia
about the upcoming launch of Starkers at The Glory.
Grab your pads and pencils and head to The Glory tomorrow night for the launch of Starkers, a new life-drawing company with a queer twist. Kicking off at 6.30pm, The Fig Leaves are Off: Freyia VS Pavel is a queerly themed nude pose-off challenging constructions of masculinity and femininity.
For those intimidated by a more traditional life drawing setting, fear not! The event intends to mix sketching with socializing, resulting in an artistic extravaganza sure to please even the most novice of drawers.
Catering lesbian hen parties, gay stag events, and private parties, as well as inclusive commercial and corporatee events, Starkers promises to celebrate the nude in all its diversity. As Starkers’ Directors Leo and Roy explain:
"We saw a growing demand for life drawing that sits somewhere between the rigour of an art class and a sleazy stag or hen party, particularly for LGBTQI+ people. We wanted to create something fun, professional and celebratory to fill that gap."
Leo and Roy have invited a range of models to work with them, ensuring diversity of bodies and identities not typical revealed in more mainstream arts events. Freyia is one of their more theatrical models, previously taking part in events with Art Macabre. For her, life modeling has been an avenue for more positive body-awareness:
"It’s not about being the most beautiful person in the room. It’s humbling and empowering at the same time, and it doesn’t really matter what you look like, you can just do it!"
She goes on to explain the relationship between a model and drawer, revealing how most of us are predisposed to ideas of how bodies should look:
"It’s really interesting seeing the drawings. You can tell when artists have their own signature styles. And also people who are newer to it have an idea of how they think a body should look. You can see in the drawings that a person has drawn me with a way smaller waist or way bigger boobs. This something that life model tutors talk about a lot, divorcing your ideas about form and trying to look at the model more than you look at the page. So having someone really look at you and see what’s actually there and applying that to the page, rather than drawing what they feel like they should be drawing."
Starkers—with their vast range of bodies, identities, and sexualities–will break down existing presuppositions of bodies, instead appreciating the variety of the human form. While body positivity and diversity in art and advertising is becoming seemingly better, there is still much work to be done, and marginalised communities are biting back. Starkers is a part of that
movement, creating a space where art and education comingle, fostering inclusivity and diversity.
Let’s get Starkers!
Tuesday 28 March
Starkers Launch ‘The Fig Leaves are Off: Freyia vs Patel’
281 Kingsland Rd
London E2 8AS