The unclothed human body, whether you call it naked or nude, has long held a fascination for artists. Art historian, Kenneth Clark famously wrote:
“The English language, with its elaborate generosity, distinguishes between the naked and the nude. To be naked is to be deprived of our clothes, and the word implies some of the embarrassment most of us feel in that condition. The word ‘nude’ on the other hand, carries, in educated usage, no uncomfortable overtone. The vague image it projects into the mind is not of a huddled and defenceless body, but of a balanced, prosperous, and confident body: the body re-formed. In fact, the word was forced into our vocabulary by critics of the early eighteenth century to persuade the artless islanders that, in countries where painting and sculpture were practiced and valued as they should be, the naked human body was the central subject of art.”
The Nude: A Study in Ideal Form, 1956.
The ‘nude’, as both art form and subject, is the basis for the Body Works exhibition currently showing at Art Is… Gallery.
Body Works is an exhibition of 40 drawings, by the Springdale Life Drawing Group, in a variety of media including graphite, watercolour, ink, pastel, crayon, charcoal and gouache. Artists represented include: Ilsa Barton, John Barton, Nan Bodsworth, Margaret Bridle, Gwen Cook, Catherine Farthing-Knight, Hanni Groeneveld, Willem Groeneveld, George-Ann Gunn, Janis Laming, Denise Main, Annette Playsted, Colleen Ross, Alison Straub, Dr Gillian Turner and Laurel Wilkinson.
Body Works is held at Art Is…Gallery, Level 1, 64 Lt Malop St, Geelong. It is on until 18 December.