No nudes was bad news for artists

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STRIPPING off in the name of art was a cringe too far – even in dole-hit Hartlepool.

The Mail’s story in October 1993 was illustrated with a photo of students Scott Pearson and Graham Balster “using their imagination” as they sketched in front of an empty chair.

The unnamed reporter wrote: “Local people are turning down the chance to earn quick cash by posing nude or scantily clad.”

Hartlepool’s Employment Service was approached by the town’s art college, now known as Cleveland College of Art and Design, to help find life models to pose for a group of students.

The paid work involved posing for 20 minutes at a time on Monday and Wednesday evenings but the employment service didn’t get a single applicant.

Julie Watson, a spokesman for the service, told the Mail she was surprised no-one had expressed an interest, as the job was reasonably paid.

“Since we advertised the positions we have not had any applications at all, or even people contacting us to find out more about what would be involved,” she said.

“There is no age limit for applications, although the advert does specify that a mature attitude is essential, and people do not need experience in this field.”

She added: “Anyone interested should contact the mployment service to find out more – whether they’re fat or thin, in fact the more character a body has the better.”

“Perhaps poeple in Hartlepool are too bashful about taking their clothes off, but seriosuly it is a genuine job to help art students in their studies of life drawing.”

The head of visual studies at the college, Allan Francis, admitted: “We have this problem every year, although this has been a particularly bad year for recruitment.

“It is not a joke, it is a very serious job and an important part of an art student’s curriculum.”

He said people could wear “a small amount of clothing such as a leotard or a swimming costume”.

Did the publicity in the Mail help the students get their model?

Contact Andrew Levett by emailing andrew.levett@northeast-press.co.uk or write to him at Hartlepool Mail, New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX.