It gives a whole new meaning to the idea of life drawing class. Londoners can now paint on naked human bodies, so long as its only flowers and plants.
Artist Mimmi Harding, 23, is teaching the ‘Our Botanical Bodies Life Drawing Classes’ as a part of her project ‘Our Botanical Bodies’ and everyone is welcome to either volunteer as a model or draw on them.
The first public drawing class started on May 22 and runs every Tuesday in Folklore, Hoxton, an innovative venue that strives to showcase artistic talents in all forms.
Harding created this project to celebrate the naked body and its differences in all natural form.
The aim of this unconventional project is to fight body stereotypes by showcasing human form under the same light that people view plants and nature- diverse, complex and appreciated for their variety in all sizes, shapes and colours. It blends both body positivity and love for nature, using plant motives and natural colouring on a naked human body.
Models, who are painted with botanical body art, also pose with a variety of fresh plants to enhance the natural theme.
Harding explained: “All I’m basically trying to do is take away positive and negative connotations from words that describe the body and show bodies to be form and amazing in their own right.”
“Perky boobs, squishy bellies, short legs, spikey leaves, small petals, long stalks should all just be words to describe form and aesthetic rather than something people judge each other on and want to change,” she added.
Harding, who lives in Hackney, is a Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts graduate. Originally from Yarm, in north-east England, Harding moved to London in pursuit of creative opportunities and its vibrant lifestyle.
She specialises in painting, figurative illustration, and intricate pattern design and dance choreography.
The idea for this project came from her “interest in making art with the human body since dancing and enjoying movement from a young age”. She said she first started to life model herself and added: “It’s helped me with my body confidence quite a lot as you can’t hide any body parts to look any different than how they are when modelling. It’s made me feel a lot more comfortable with my natural form and a lot more aware and appreciative of how different everyone’s bodies are.”
“I guess if we put it simply, the project basically says we are all like big plants and we should value our differences and variety of body shapes the same way we can value the mass variety of plants there are.” Harding summarised.
The project is currently focused on female body forms. It is in early stages and therefore her work is not exhibited anywhere yet apart from her portfolio and Instagram.
For more information and pictures, you can visit www.instagram.com/teaslekoto. To book the tickets, visit www.evensi.uk or www.folklorehoxton.com.