30 Years of Life Drawing at Cambridge School of Art

A short observational doc short following a recent class of P.O.S.E.R.S, on the week of their 30th Anniversary Exhibition Private View.

Cinematographer: Simon Diaz-Cuffin
Director: Louis Holder
Editors: John Holder and Louis Holder

The Cambridge School of Art, now part of Anglia Ruskin University, was
founded in 1858 by John Ruskin, renowned art critic, draughtsman, water-colourist and social thinker; it is now home to one of the most prestigious MA Illustration courses of international standing. Knowing that drawing – and life drawing in particular – is the most basic requirement for their students, two of its most feted tutors, Dr John Holder and Professor Martin Salisbury, decided that the students would benefit from a regular life drawing session – so Tuesday evenings at 6.30 pm in Room 211 became a sacred time for their students to draw from the human figure. It is well-knowN that if you can draw the nude figure, you can draw anything.

So in 1989 POSERS came into being. We are now celebrating 30 years of meetings. This jokey acronym was invented by John and Martin and belies the serious nature of the group which meets year after year for this most important business. And it is not only students from the School of Art who are admitted – anyone may turn up, toss their fee into the hat and join in the fun. Our members are professional and amateur artists: illustrators, designers, architects, painters, sculptors…and anyone who simply enjoys drawing is welcome.

It is not strictly speaking a class – there is no instructor, and no-one supervises or comments on the work, which is very liberating.

The POSERS coffers, with extra help from a generous anonymous Poser, contribute financial support to student field trips. These annual outings to Europe (Lisbon in Portugal is the current venue) are considered to be the highlight of the BA Illustration Course.

So to celebrate this important anniversary an exhibition of current and past POSERS’ work will be on show in the Upper Gallery in the Ruskin Building from December 4th 2019 til 15th January 2020. An additional collection of work will be shown at the Posers’ favourite pub, the Six Bells, in Covent Garden (Cambridge!).


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