Cardiff Arts Institute is hosting life drawing classes for Cardiff artists ARTICLE | MARCH 17, 2011 – 8:52PM | BY BEN BOSTOCK 

Drawing is something many people do for relaxation. It can often provide an escape for people with stressful jobs or be an extension of a professional life in art. 

One group of artists in Cardiff proves this theory, with everyone from IT consultants to undergraduate students taking part in life-drawing sessions above a local arts bar. 

And when we say taking part, it doesn’t just mean drawing. There is more to this life class than meets the eye. 

Themes are a key element to the classes which, of late, have included sessions entitled Draw the Artist and have brought in members of the Cardiff Feminist Network. Regulars are encouraged to strip-off and go “as bare as they dare”, taking the role of a life-model for the evening. 

Group organiser, Andy Lamb, said: “The classes originally started in March last year at Milgi Lounge in Cathays and we had 24 people turn up then. 

“Now, we run two sessions on a Monday at Milgi and two on Tuesdays at the Cardiff Arts Institute. The themes for the evening always changes and we cater for absolutely anyone who wants to come along.” 

Other themed nights have included Draw the Lover, where couples adopt embracing poses for anything up to 40 minutes, and Draw the Musician, which has previously involved a guitarist performing songs while posing naked. 

Far from the groups’ original purpose as a get-together for professional and studying artists, the latest incarnation of the class is aimed at involving the less experienced artist. 

Tony Wilkinson, 47, an IT consultant from Sussex, popped in on the way home from a hectic schedule of business meetings. “Coming here offers a real departure from work,” he said. “The people are so friendly and the environment is so relaxing, I can just forget about everything and just draw.” 

More sessions are planned for the collective, which is expanding with every week. Mr Lamb, who goes by the name of Muse during his life-modeling classes, hopes to attract yet more budding artists by hosting a night session during the week. 

He said: “I want to run a late class to fit in with the daily routines and nine-to-five jobs people have. I imagine a lot of people can’t fit in a 5.30pm or 7pm because of the hours they work. 

“This new session will be something completely different, at a new venue and it will offer a lot more opportunity for people who perhaps didn’t think they could get the time to draw.”

First published in The Cardiffian and no longer available March 2011

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Outdoor Professional @ Wales Outdoors, Model @ Cardiff Life Model Colective and Published Poet @ Self...

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