Archives for posts with tag: life drawing


I’ve always been fascinated by the body: its structure, shapes and movement. My new exhibition, Back to Black, at Paddock Studios Stable Gallery in Lewes, explores this obsession in black and white. Made using charcoal and ink, the pieces range from small sketches to life-size drawings, and from more realistic life drawings to looser, abstracted approaches to movement.

Stable Gallery, Paddock Art Studios
Paddock Lane Lewes BN7 1TW
17 August – 1 September

Wed-Sat 10am-6.30pm Sun 11-6pm (closed Mondays & Tuesdays)


Seven years ago I joined a contemporary dance company in Brighton, newly established. Three Score Dance Company was created to offer contemporary dance opportunities for women and men aged 60+. From merely watching dance theatre I started using my body. Three Score Co has a brilliant artistic director, Jason Keenan-Smith, and we’ve worked with some great choreographers to make performances .


I made some sketches of the other dancers when not actually involved. Of course there’s a great legacy of dance art: Manet, Degas, Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso… aside from the whole world of non-Western art. But while not daring to include myself in that list, I started to make drawings of dance.


Then I started to work the other way round: dancing the drawing. I was intrigued by what marks might result if an artist would dance over and on paper or canvas, trailing charcoal or paint. So over large sheets of paper I would move and (sort-of) dance with charcoal in both hands, tracing my movements. The results were intriguing, and formed a basis for building on; life-size figures in motion. It would be a real achievement to make a coherent performance from it, but it’s early days yet.

Back to Black:
Michael Munday Drawings

Stable Gallery, Paddock Art Studios
Paddock Lane Lewes BN7 1TW
17 August – 1 September

Wed-Sat 10am-6.30pm Sun 11-6pm (closed Mondays & Tuesdays)

The Lewes Artwave Festival








Way back in the day, as they say, 1964 probably, I opened a door with some trepidation and saw my first naked woman. Or nude woman. I’m still not sure how to describe someone who is intentionally without clothes, for artistic reasons. And as a job. I enrolled in the Saturday morning life class at Goldsmith’s College, London, and loved it. The tutor was Sam Rabin, a painter (you can see his work in Tate Britain) and a champion wrestler. Fortunately, not with his students. He’d nudge you off your seat though (called a donkey – the seat, that is) and with a stubby black pencil he’d demonstrate how to look, how to transfer the naked/nude person in front of you into two dimensions. Totally inspiring.

One Saturday I walked into the life class and there sat a naked (near-naked in this case) and very elegant person with a purple rinse, rouge and eye make-up – the Naked Civil Servant himself, Quentin Crisp, earning every penny of his 7/6d (38p) an hour. Of course we boys sniggered quietly at the Stately Homo of England at the time – shame on us. Since then, on and off, I’ve been going to life classes. The quality comes and goes, and I remember being much better at life drawing than I am now, 50 years later. But I don’t have those drawings, so I don’t know.

It takes intense concentration, a juggle of measuring with flow, accuracy with spontaneity, precision with feel. But it’s all about looking. At naked people.