The drawing of my mother hangs in the hallway. She was pregnant with my brother. Posing nude, she reclines in a chair.
My mother often spoke to me about the time she spent working as a life model, for friends, artists and art classes. I grew up knowing that she was comfortable with her body.
I myself have now been life modelling for seven years. I enjoy the act of being looked at, and translated onto paper by artists. When I am posing, I feel important; the centre of attention for the length of the session. I feel powerful and calm – in ways that I rarely do in other aspects of my life. I am connected to my body, unashamed of my appearance and proud of what I am capable of.
But this is a job, and not just a hobby. I used to aspire to be comfortable with my body, now I hope to be a ‘good’ life model; by knowing my own body, and how to move myself into stillness. My job requires skill, being brave enough to dis-robe is just the starting point.
I have been given drawings by artists, which now hang on my walls. I am happy to display them, to share with friends and family how I am seen by others. How in this work, my body is my tool, and my nudity is my uniform.