Alternative croquis (flesh hook suspension)
Mixed: Drawing: Croquis/live model
In B.E.S.T we have talked about making it possible for artists to come and do live croquis at a suspension session. Read on...
I have to say that it is merely an idea - we may decide to do it or we may decide not to.
Of course we do not do suspensions to "show off". The main focus of every suspension session is the people doing the suspensions. External parties are not really all that welcome - not that we are unhospitable, it's just that we prefer that the people suspending should not feel that they are "on stage", more that they are having a personal/private experience.
So, opening up for people who are not suspending themselves is not easy. There are all kinds of things we have to think about in order to make it possible in such a way that both the people drawing and the people suspending (and not least: all of us doing the work there that makes this whole thing happen)... should have a nice and pleasant experience. It should be understood that if something will likely impact the suspendee experience negatively it will simply not happen.
The drawing you see above is an example of live drawing at a suspension event. The past few events I've done a few quick A5 size croquis type drawings to check for myself how this whole situation could possibly pan out. So, the drawing itself is not all that important, the whole situation surrounding the act of live drawing is what I am testing.
My preliminary thoughts are that this could work, but ... (!)
There will have to be a very limited number of seats available, and those will have to be reserved for people with more than a little previous live drawing experience. Nobody will benefit from an unskilled person to participate, as this is very far from the studio/model situation that most people who draw have tried before.
If you've ever tried croquis, this is a lot harder. I have a double digit of years of experience photographing these types of events, and I have seen countless photos from other photographers... I have to be honest about this: you will be drawing stuff that can be very difficult to capture even for a professional photographer using professional equipment.
First, there is no "model" - only a human being doing whatever s/he wants to whenever s/he likes to, you have no say in that matter. You can't expect a pose, you can't demand the person suspending to do anything at all, and you can't expect any particular position to last for any particular time. People simply move as they please; sometimes a lot, and sometimes not at all.
Second, there is usually very little light and people very often wear dark clothes or have tattoos making it harder to distinguish object from decoration and surroundings. Third, you will need to be seated at some distance from the people you should be drawing (and remain there), as their experience is much more important than your drawing (so don't disturb). Add to this that people will, and do, get in the way! While drawing it will not be unusual that some staff member or suspendee will suddently need to stand right in front of you blocking your view - and, they need to be there; you don't need to be able to draw (!) At all times you need to be able to stay peacefully and silent well out of the way, not disturbing anyone while possibly being disturbed yourself, and occupying as little space as possible.
People that draw need to be very disciplined and they need some amount of experience for this to make sense for them as well as for the rest of the people there. You will not be there to watch a freak show or to have fun, you will be there to work; drawing -- while trying your best to be totally invisible in order to let everyone else stand in your way or do all kinds of other stuff making your work really hard.
Those were some preliminary thoughts on the matter. If you are serious about drawing you will want to reserve a seat already. But this is too early. At the moment it is an idea only, we have to spend a l-o-n-g time researching this before we decide if we want to do it or not. The decision will be made collectively by the team, eventually.
Now I am only investigating if (and how) this could become possible. At this moment I think it could work out, but ... (as noted above).
The room was lit only by tealights and a few larger candles (so if you can, mentally replace the white paper with darkness). This is not a portrait as such, more of a quick sketch. Drawing like this -- quickly and rough -- is the draughtsmans way of excercising/training. I gave Rolf the original drawing.
I made another quick croquis type drawing later that night, of a girl called Kate who did a Suicide Suspension. At that time it was darker as it was around midnight; a few candles had extinguished ...and she was wearing all black and was constantly in motion! (a pretty hard task to draw). Surprisingly, it did turn out rather well. I gave her the drawing, but forgot to take a picture first.