– by Rebecca Westlund
Life drawing focuses on representing and exploring the human form as it is seen by the naked eye. Such a drawing may present the outline, shadows and muscles as well as the physical tension of a model’s pose. David Grant’s Bodies on the Line is a shift away from this rigid way of expression.
Grant’s body of work aims to capture not only the anatomical view of the human body but also to present an insight into the model’s personality. It is a rare opportunity to see a collection of works which are created by artist and model intertwined, each one relying on the other to be raw and honest in their approach. All of Grant’s sixty-eight models are volunteers and range from everyday people discovered on the street to professional models. Recently, Grant has worked with clothed models in order to include those too shy to present themselves nude for drawing.
Charcoal, acrylic, pencil on paper
Connectivity between artist and model is achieved through active conversation during the drawing sessions as well as allowing the models to choose poses for themelves. Grant uses charcoal on paper to capture each model’s mood during individual sessions. Dialogue is recorded during the sessions and excerpts may be later written onto the works in the model’s own hand. Grant finishes each piece by adding touches of paint in an abstract style and the result is natural and simple yet starkly emotional. I found myself connecting with the drawings, as if I was looking through a keyhole and experiencing a private moment in each model’s life.
Grant’s project began in 2008 and is expected to span 10 years. So far twelve books containing drawings and discussion between artist and model have been released, as well as various exhibitions as the project developed. Bodies on the Line 2015 is the third largest exhibition of this concept and is currently being shown as part of Perth’s Fringe World Festival.
Dates: Thursday 29 January – Saturday 21 February
Location: Cafe Murano, Hay St. Subiaco
Website: Fringe World Festival
Photo credit: Bodies on the Line