ABOUT ME ( © Dominic Blake 2019):
LONDON BASED PERFORMANCE ARTIST, LIFE AND PORTRAIT MODEL.
Natural habitat: The Royal Academy's Life Room.
My work is a physical mode of artistic expression within which I use my body as my medium. The forms I create emerge spontaneously in solitude, and in collaboration with other artists. They are a direct emotional response to the environment I am located within at any moment in time, to internal dialogues and to my body itself. Inspired by infinite stimuli from the arrangement of branches in a tree to music, sculpture poetry and beyond, I advocate a rejection of cultural paradigms that have existed since antiquity, suggesting that Life Models are servants or slaves. I am emotionally engaged and critical within the artistic relationships my practice manifests. I am intrigued by the possibility to use my body to move from the figurative realm into abstraction. My anatomy may not be discernible, I become a complex series of unified forms.
Travelling on symbiotic creative journey's with other artists, I specialise in creating complex, dynamic gestural forms that are interesting to draw, paint, photograph and sculpt.
Within art classes, I also enjoy recreating classical poses, and am happy working according to the specific requirements of artists and tutors alike. I am friendly, punctual and reliable.
I work with almost all art colleges and many galleries, museums and life drawing groups in London and beyond, including:
Royal Academy of Arts, The National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, The Courtauld Institute of Art, The Wallace Collection, The Art Academy, Hampstead School of Art, Putney School of Art and Design, Royal British Society of Sculptors, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, Royal College of Art, Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA), Slade School of Fine Art, Central Saint Martins, Life Drawing Montmatre (Paris), City Lit, The Hesketh Hubbard Society, the New English Art Club, Mall Galleries, Apple (UK), City and Guilds Art School, Greenwich Adult Education College, Richmond Art School, Draw Brighton, University of the Arts London, Burberry (Henry Moore exhibition 2017), Morley College, City Academy, Insight School of Art, Cambridge University, Eton College, The UCL Bartlett School of Architecture, Brunel University, Facebook UK, Freeform Life Drawing, Art Macabre, London Drawing, Reconfigure (Edinburgh), The London School of Figure Drawing, London Drawing Group, Camden Arts Centre, The Guildhall (London), Highgate Scientific and Literary Institute, Lewisham Art House, Phoenix Studios Oxfordshire, Wimbledon Art Studios, South Thames College, Figuration, ETNA Community Centre (Richmond), The Jolly Sketcher, Drawing the Star, Eileen Cooper (RA), Maggi Hambling, Robin-Lee Hall (RP) (Past President, Royal Society of Portrait Painters), Alastair Adams (Past President, Royal Society of Portrait Painters), Tai Shan Schierenberg, Michael Kirkbride (NEAC), Tim Benson (President, Royal Institute of Oil Painters), Diane Magee (Head of Drawing Studio, C&G Art School), David West, Alan McGowan, Adele Wagstaff, Jake Spicer, Shelley Morrow, Simon Chambers, Dan Whiteson, David Caldwell (RP), Sam Dalby (RP), Susanne Du Toit, Francis Bowyer (NEAC / PPRWS), Annabel Cullen, Carl Randall, Patricia Barker, Vincent Milne, Estelle Lovat, Valerie Wiffen, Bobby Gill, Jane Clatworthy, Karly Allen (art historian and lecturer at The National Gallery), Mark Hampson (Head of Fine Art Processes at the Royal Academy) and with many other institutions, tutors and artists.
COURTAULD INSTITUTE OF ART LIFE DRAWING GROUP:
In 2017, I helped to set up a successful
tutored Life Drawing group at the Courtauld Institute of Art, with art historian Hannah Boulting. As well as Life Modelling within the group on numerous occasions, I also arranged for artists including Michael Kirkbride (NEAC), Adele Wagstaff and Dan Whiteson to deliver classes.
DAVID CALDWELL (RP):
Having collaborated with David numerous times over the last three years, it was an honour when he used a beautiful portrait he painted of me in 2018 within a larger piece of work, titled 'Encounters' that featured 15 other portraits. The work was displayed at the Lynn Painter Stainers Prize at The Mall Galleries during March 2019.
In April 2018 Maggi Hambling asked me to be one of her Life Models at Morley College.
PUBLICATIONS / PRESS:
***BBC Radio 4 (October 2019). interview about my career (recorded at The National Gallery in September 2019).
*** The Guardian (August 2019), interview about the series of lectures I am delivering between Aug-Nov 2019 in response to the question 'Are Life Models Artists'?
***The National Gallery Whats On Guide (Autumn 2019)
*** BBC Radio Guernsey (15.08.19), interview on The Eliza Philipidis Arts Show about my lecture series: 'Are Life Models Artists?'.
*** Soho Radio (August 2019), Interview on BBC Arts correspondent Maeve Doyle's 'A Private View' about my work.
***The Art Newspaper (August 2019 (Interview about the series of lectures I am delivering between Aug-Nov 2019 in response to the question 'Are Life Models Artists'?)
*** A Little History of the Royal Academy', by Peter Sawbridge (2018); I feature within the book, which celebrates the Academy's 250th anniversary, representing the practice of Life Drawing.
***Hampstead School of Art Course Guide (Autumn 2019), interview about my lecture series 'Are Life Models Artists?'.
***Jackson's Art Magazine (July 2018, interview).
***The Artist (February 2018 edition)
***Richmond Art Press (2017, interview).
*** 'From Life', book published by the Royal Academy of Arts in conjunction with their exhibition of the same name. I appear twice in the book, including a double page spread on the back pages. Artists including Humphrey Ocean, David Hockney and Cathie Pilkington write about what drawing from life means to them in the book. (2017).
***Drawing Life Magazine (2017, interview.)
***Hampstead School of Art Course Guides (2017 / 2018).
***Londonist (August 2018, interview).
***Lancaster University Alumni Magazine (April 2019, interview).
CATHIE PILKINGTON (RA):
I am very excited to have been asked by London based sculptor, figurative artist and Royal Academician Cathie Pilkington to work within a project she is developing and hopes to realise in 2020..
EILEEN COOPER (RA):
Having worked very regularly at The Royal Academy of Arts for several years, it was the greatest pleasure when, in December 2018, I collaborated with Royal Academician Eileen Cooper at her home / studio. You can find the beautiful drawing that Eileen created of me in the Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture section within my website.
JJ DELVINE (BP Portrait Award '18, '11 '06):
In January 2019, JJ Delvine (BP Portrait Award 2018, 2011 and 2006) invited me to collaborate with him on an artistic project he hoped to realise. We began work soon after an initial meeting. The project is ongoing at the time of writing (June 2019), and although I am unable to discuss it here, is the most important collaboration I have engaged in within my career, validating my creative worth during a period of self-doubt.
SAM DALBY (RP):
Sam asked me to work as his Life Model within a workshop he delivered at his studio in Settle, North Yorkshire, in February 2018. While sitting for Sam's students, Sam painted my portrait, and we instantly bonded, and formed a friendship. Although the date is not fixed yet, I will be returning to visit him to be creative soon.
I was honoured to be asked by Portraitist and friend Adele Wagstaff to sit for a portrait during May / June 2019. You may view the beautiful painting within my website.
ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS
I have worked regularly as a Life and Portrait Model for several years within courses focusing on anatomical drawing, expressive portraiture, digital drawing and renaissance art, I also work regularly within the Friends and Academicians Life Drawing group and within drawing courses delivered by RA Schools in conjunction with Apple, Burberry and the Henry Moore Foundation. In addition I have Life Modelled within private events for RA Patrons and Trustees, and for the attRAct programme.
I will be returning to Life Model in New York and Paris during 2019 within several major museums and galleries in each city, as well as regularly in London.
Excellent references available on request.