Sunday, 19 June 2011

@ Clarke and Reilly

Photographer: Schwanberg
Jewellery designer Lika Moore, from Los Angeles, recently advertised for models to take part in her installation at Clarke and Reilly in London W2. I replied to her casting call, got hired, and suddenly found myself involved in an amazing project. For three days, since Friday, I  have been modelling jewellery  together with model Genevieve. It's an interesting concept. Covered with diaphanous fabrics from head to toe but completely naked under it the jewellery is placed on our bodies in an imaginative way. We sit on chaises and strike poses which we imperceptibly change as the visitors come into the gallery space. The jewellery is for sale. It is everywhere in the room, on the mantelpiece, in a glass cabinet and on our bodies.  The pieces are all unique. Lika is a sculptress who works with silver, bronze and gold.
We start at 1 pm and go on till 7.

Photographer: Terri Lee Shield

People come in, look at us, try on the jewellery, some buy it, have tea and cake and chat with Lika. All the while Genevieve and myself are sitting very still, no word uttered, like two living statues.
Not everyone notices we are 'real'. A young woman walked in with her three year old. She did not see us. It was her little girl that immediately spotted us and pointed us to her mum.
It is strange to be sitting there totally motionless. I have done plenty of life modelling but this is different. We are not posing for artists to draw us or sculpt us. In fact despite being apparently immobile there is a lot of movement going on at micro level. We shift and we do so over a period of time so we might end up facing a different side of the room within the course of an hour and no one notices. Our heads are also covered by the fabric which is  chiffon silk of an earthy, stone colour.  So holding the same pose is not a requirement. The requirement is to balance the jewellery on our heads, our hands and legs: the bracelets are not necessarily clasped round our wrists but they may be on our feet or balanced on a hip.
I did my first session on Friday.  When I got back home I was so exhausted I just had to go to bed straightaway. All the while I was thinking to myself,why am I so tired? I sat there for six hours and did nothing. Not quite. I held poses and that requires a lot of effort.
One more session to go. If you are in London come and see us, we are in Porchester Place, near Marble Arch.
We have have had some photos taken, I hope to post them soon.

Photographer: Terri Lee-Shield
(All photos modelled by Alex B.)

1 comment:

  1. Oooh, that does sound both fun and an interesting artistic challenge! Very like the performance art work I did some years ago with a friend who is a Christian, a naturist, a sculptor and a graphic artist. We set up the "show" in a Denver art gallery--we were "living sculptures." We moved occasionally, he talked a little, I played my recorder a little. It was fun, and the visitors liked it. About a month after that we did a similar show with five nude performance artists at an art college. I enjoyed both shows very much!

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