Students wear their birthday suits in live art activity

By Alison Hart

DMU students stripped off last week in an unusual studio-based live art class.

The 17 drama studies and performing arts undergraduates used only paint and their bodies to create pieces of artwork on canvas.

The workshop, held in the Campus Centre studios on Friday 16, is part of the drama and performing arts third year degree programme and shows how the human form can be used in art.

Drama student Ceara Asbury-Dunn, 20, said: “We could take off as many clothes as we felt comfortable with. One guy kept all his clothes on and just painted with a brush and his hands. It was interesting though because at the end he said he felt uncomfortable being fully dressed.

“You would assume the half-naked people would be the uncomfortable ones, but as everyone was in the same boat nobody cared.”

Many students felt happy in their birthday suits as they were covered in paint and filled their canvases with colour.

Miss Asbury-Dunn said: “My end piece was quite messy, whereas other people had a single imprint of their body in the centre of the canvas. My friend made a landscape-like painting using his footprints which looked pretty cool.”

The session lasted from 9am-12pm and also included artist research as well as giving the students time to set up the studio ready for the activity.

A three minute ‘free writing’ exercise was held at the end where students had the chance to write any thoughts down about the workshop without thinking too much about it.

They had to pick a sentence out from the paragraph and then select three words from the sentence which made the titles of their artwork.

The creative activity was inspired by artists such as Yves Klein, a pioneer in the development of performance art whose work famously features women’s bodies covered in blue paint and pressed onto a canvas.

Miss Asbury-Dunn said: “It was definitely different and a little embarrassing at first, but once everyone felt comfortable it was really fun.

“Taking your clothes off is definitely a good icebreaker too! Some of the drama students didn’t know the performing arts students too well and the activity allowed us to get to know each other.

“Discovering how the body can create art and performance by doing it ourselves will certainly benefit me throughout my course.”

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