The Art Society started their semester off with a bang at last weekend’s Creative Lock-In, the first of the new academic year. The Barron Theatre was packed with musicians, painters, poets, writers, crafters, sketchers, collagers and one nude model from 11pm on Friday until 6am on Saturday. Participants were encouraged to bring snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, but the committee members also provided tea all night for those who needed the caffeine.
The sun is shining, birds are chirping, daffodils are blooming, and students are spread out on lawns across town. Spring is in the air. To this lovely Wednesday afternoon On the Rocks brought Music, Art and Earth, hosted by the Art Society, the A Cappella Society, and Transition. The event was held at the Botanic Gardens during the afternoon with flowerpots for decorating, seeds for planting, and featured musical performances by a number of St Andrews’ wonderfully talented a cappella groups.
Tuesday nights are sacred. Tuesday nights are for charcoal smudges, blank pages, and casual nudity. Art Society hosts Life Drawing every Tuesday from 8.15-10.15, and it is wonderful. A lovely crew of artistically minded (or not) people gather in the Barron Theatre for some nice, quiet self-expression. This week we started off with a few 5 minute poses, a 10 minute, a few quick 1 minute, then a longer 15, and break. The break is always nice, as it gives you the chance to shake out from your intent hunched position, catch up with friends, or go out and get snacks. People chat about deadlines, gossip, and fun spring break plans, while munching on biscuits, or sipping on a Taste cappuccino. Some people wandered off during the break, so the second half of drawing was a bit quieter. This week’s session was very relaxed overall, due to smaller numbers, pre-break blues, and most likely because of the music. The playlist featured the Indie beauty of James Vincent Mcmorrow, Fleet Foxes, and The xx, among others.
Who doesn’t like drawing nude figures in the softly lit cave of the Barron Theatre? No one? Good. The Art Society hosts life drawing every Tuesday night from 8.15-10.15pm and all are welcome. Chairs are set up in rows in the audience section of the theatre while the model graces the stage. There are different models each week, with a nice mix of men and women. This week, the President of Art Soc herself was our lovely model, and she did an excellent job. She was versatile and composed, holding poses that were interesting and beautiful to render on the page. We started with a 10-minute pose, a few quick 1 to 5 minute poses, and then a longer 15-minute pose. The variation in time was great, allowing for fast sketches to loosen up, and longer poses where one could focus more on detail.
In a dimly lit Barron Theatre, illuminated by spotlight and fairy light, the creatives gathered. The biannual creative lock-in, hosted by the Arts Society, began late Saturday evening and ran through to the twilight hours of Sunday morning (for those with the stamina). Promising a night of writing, still life, music, nudey artistry and any other tool of creativity, this event is certainly like no other.
Signing up for life modelling seemed like a great idea 8 weeks prior to the session itself. We told ourselves that it would make for fantastic future telling when reflecting on our time at university. Moreover, it would be a liberating experience, after all, we were exposing all to anybody who cared to show up. Just two guys, nude modelling for their student contemporaries together. Standard stuff.
As the summer holidays fast approach, St Andrews students are rushing round trying to finalise plans for internships and work placements, or even worse, to secure an actual job in the scary world of graduate placement schemes and career ladders.
Life Drawing is a pretty common extracurricular activity in universities, community centres, sixth-form colleges and even schools across Britain. So, why is it that whenever I dig out my sketchbook and blunt pencils most Sundays and announce that I’m off to Life Drawing class, do I get such an incredulous response?