Exciting opportunities and ideas are constantly presenting themselves to us here at All The Young Nudes. This February, we were asked to experiment with something new and oh so exciting. Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow invited us to collaborate by bringing our original life drawing format over to their current exhibition by Alphonse Mucha: “In Quest Of Beauty”.

Mucha’s work is highly figurative, focussing on nudes, linear and stylised images of beautiful women in long, ornate dresses. The exhibition is brilliantly rich and full of inspiration for anyone interested in art, fashion or design. Bringing this to life with models and music was a dream come true.

Jane Mucha Red Dress

The exhibition space itself is vast. With so much imagery to choose from, and no shortage of willing life models here in Glasgow, we set about selecting our favourite works and plotting how we would recreate Mucha’s studio, right there in the gallery. We decided that we would limit sketching attendees to 100 to ensure everyone had space to move around and to get comfortable. Tickets sold out within weeks, without much promotion at all. With 100 of you behind us, we were able to make plans with 12 of our life models and to organise for an appointment with the costume department at The Citizens Theatre. We can’t thank them enough for their generosity on this project.

With such a special exhibition in place, and so many works of art on show, we had to be extra conscious of things like lighting and materials in the space. Being so aware of the value and exclusivity of everything made it all the more special an experience.

I cast and dressed all 12 of our participating life models. We were delighted when everybody agreed to be part of the event. Most of the models hadn’t met one another before. Some models were posing in pairs, as Mucha and his muse, two toga-clad dancers, two gents in priest coats and two lovely ladies draped in jewellery and flowers. The models were incredible. Having never met one another, with no acting experience, they slotted right in to their parts, no rehearsals, no nothing… Amongst these legends was none other than Scott Morrisson, administrator for All The Young Nudes. Scott is one of the most efficient and level-headed people you will ever meet. I knew he was musical, and I knew he played the piano, so when he offered to step in for this event I was very pleased. Scott fully immersed himself in the theme by dressing as Paul Gauguin (moustache, tweed suit jacket and nae troos) with two life models prancing around the piano as he played. Scott ’s piano playing set the tone for the evening and blew us away with his relentless Chopin, DeBussy and La La Land renditions. A real treat to behold.

We have received some fantastic feedback, thank you all for that. We also met some sketchers who had travelled Aberdeen and from London to be at the event on the night! 12 models in 1 hour 40 minutes of sketching was a lot to take in and so we are planning for the next event in terms of this. We overheard a couple of people saying they could have sketched in there all day.

We think this was a fantastic marriage of mediums and love how the models brought the exhibition to life. Thanks go out once again to Kelvingrove and to the Mucha Foundation for the idea and the opportunity.

Please let us know how you found the event and join us at our weekly sketching sessions in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen any time.

Much love,

Joanna Süsskind

Founder | All The Young Nudes