ARE LIFE MODELS ARTISTS? © Dominic Blake 2018 - 2020
I believe that Life Modelling has the potential to be a physical mode of artistic practice within which the model uses their body as their medium to draw in space. I became a Life Model to express myself creatively and reject cultural paradigms that have existed since the Renaissance suggesting that Life Models are mercenary drawing instruments with no creative agency. I am emotionally engaged and critical within the artistic relationships my practice manifests (whether in art classes, studios or other environments). Sympathetic with Gilbert and George, I view myself as being a 'Living Sculpture'. In this way, when locating my practice outside the Life Room in environments i
Between August 2019 - June 2020, I am delivering a series of lectures at venues including The National Gallery, Mall Galleries, RCA and University of Kent in response to the question I am posing: 'Are Life Models Artists?'. My first lectures at The Mall Galleries, The National Gallery and Hampstead School of Art sold out. I am in discussions with two US museums about delivering my lectures there next year.
In preparation for my lectures I worked directly with the Directors of several major galleries, museums and private collections, practicing artists, Life Models and curators, interviewing Christopher Le Brun, President, Royal Academy of Arts; Simon Martin, Director, Pallant House Gallery; Jo Baring, Director, The Ingram Collection; Lara Wardle, Director Curator, The Jerwood Collection; Gill Saunders, Senior Curator, V&A Department of Word and Image; JJ Delvine, Artist (BP Portrait Award 2018, 2011, 2006); Desmond Healy, Artist and Fine Art Tutor; John Close, Artist and Fine Art Tutor; Suzon Lagarde, Portrait Artist and Life Model; Robin George, Life Model.
'Are Life Models Artists?' has received coverage in the mainstream art press: The Guardian published a feature about my work in August 2019, and I was also interviewed by BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Guernsey and on Soho Radio live. Further, I am assisting the Aesthetics Research Department at the University of Kent in establishing a symposium within which related issues will be discussed, in 2020.
I will begin researching and writing a book in tandem with my lecture series between Jan-August 2020. My book will share the same title 'Are Life Models Artists?' and be published in late 2020, stocked by The Mall Galleries and other major museums.
Please scroll down to view a photo-journal including images of my lectures to date & work as a Life Model: