Life Drawing at the Working Men’s College

26th October- 16th November 2012

Open Monday – Friday 9.30-8.30pm

Saturday 9.30-3.30pm (term time only)


 Wendy Arnot, Simon Clutton, Layne Comarasawmy, Sonia Copeland,
Hana Davies, Angela Devaney, Leela Flint, Shirley Dixon, Sandra Duffy,
Jim Foreman, Gerald Goldman, Allen Granditer, Francesca Hall,
Audrey Houtman, Marysia Kratimenos George Little, Gill Rathouse,
Christine Tambyrajah, Jo Target, Susan Webber

The Ruskin Gallery is pleased to present the work of students from the Life Drawing class at Working Men’s College, taught by Janet Unwin.

The classes draw nude and clothed models and portraiture plays a large part. Students work mostly on paper and use pencil, charcoal, paint, graphite, pastels, ink, oil and crayon.  Continual reference is made to art history allowing a wide perspective and engagement with ideas of representation of the human body.

Some students use work done in class, to develop further ideas on their own or using the work as subject matter for printmaking. Some work in studios or at home and some exhibit or sell their work. As a group they all value very much the opportunity to learn together, which the teaching, class and college offer. The course is open to all levels of ability and everyone enjoys taking on the considerable challenge, which this subject offers, involving a constant process of problem solving which is ultimately very rewarding.

Life drawing is a study of the human form in its various shapes and body postures, sitting, standing or sleeping. It is a study or stylized depiction of the human form, with the line and form of the human figure as the primary objective. It is a composed image of the drawn from an observation of a still, live model.  The human figure is one of the most enduring themes in the visual arts, and can be the basis of portraiture, cartooning and comic book illustration, sculpture, medical illustration, and many fine art fields. Representing the body has been practiced throughout history and sketching from life was an established practice in art school from the 13th century. Some art schools made life drawing a central discipline but before the late 19th century, women were generally not admitted to figure drawing classes.

Some of the work in this exhibition expresses sexuality or the complexity of gender or culture. Some artists offer a direct response to the complex world the human body signifies, human frailty and strength, a beauty in aging or the disconnectedness of human connectedness … the stuff of life or the notion of ‘spaces in-between’ everyday living.

If you like to enroll on a future Life Drawing class see

About ruskingallery

The Ruskin Gallery is located at the Working Men's College in Camden. Ruskin Gallery is a contemporary gallery located in the historic building of Working Men’s College in Camden. In addition to providing students the opportunity to show at a professional level, the exhibition programme at Ruskin Gallery involves inviting external artists for site specific projects. The Ruskin Gallery is run by curator Esther Windsor, who is a curator, artist and writer living and working in London. Working Men’s College (WMC), the oldest surviving adult education institute in Europe, was founded in 1854 and was associated with the Cooperative Movement and the Christian Socialists, stemming, from the same tradition that led later to the Worker’s Educational Association. The Working Women’s College, founded 10 years later in 1864, finally merged with WMC in 1967. Early supporters of both have included F D Maurice, John Stuart Mill, Tom Hughes, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Ruskin, Ford Maddox Brown, Walter de la Mare and Octavia Hill. Originally based in Red Lion Street, we have been in this listed building in Camden Town since 1905. We have continued to develop the tradition of liberal education and today the College serves the whole community, with women, unemployed and refugee students forming the majority of the student body. We have grown rapidly in recent years but are still small enough to know all our students and to respond to their individual needs. WMC was designated as a Specialist Designated Institution (SDI) under the 1992 Further Education Act.