Monday, 28 January 2008

The 'F' Studio



I mentioned the Figurative, or 'F', Studio at the Slade in my introduction. I arrived at the Slade School of Art, University College London immediately after finishing my degree at Manchester in 1989, at the age of 21. For the next three years I worked exclusively in the 'F' Studio from the life model.

Even during the time I was there, I was acutely aware of the fact that such an education in life drawing, in observation, and in art was incredibly rare. During the previous two decades life studios at art schools around the country had become almost extinct. Prior to leaving Manchester I applied to the four London art schools. I was offered places at the Royal Academy and the Slade. I chose the latter because of the quality and rigour of its teaching, and the fact that there was a permanent life model for the whole term - every day. The Slade was unique in this respect.

Photography was frowned upon in the 'F' studio, but I'm glad I summoned up the courage to take out my camera during a break. In the lower picture I am sitting on a sofa second from left, with Miriam, Lynn and Stephanie.

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