Illawarra Mercury

Performers drawn by wage-paying gigs

Date: 28/01/2012
Words: 227
Source: ILL
          Publication: Illawarra Mercury
Section: News
Page: 13
ILLAWARRA performers are being hired as models for life-drawing sessions, bringing rare paid work to the region's art scene.

Fortnightly sessions are being run at Studio 19 at Wollongong's Exposure Arts and Media, on Crown St.

On Tuesday, performance artist Tamara Elkins wore a white silk dress and gold fingertips as about 20 artists attempted her likeness.

Elkins, originally of Wollongong but who recently moved to Sydney, said she was frequently asked to do voluntary performances but worked as a waitress and in retail to make a wage.

"If you're in the art community you end up doing a lot of favours for a lot of people, but getting paid is another thing," she said.

"Usually the people putting on the events are artists and don't have any money, so it's kind of a catch-22."

Community circus identity Wendy Regan modelled at the first session on January 10.

Future sessions will feature circus performer Heidi Hillier, violinist Jane Aubourg, belly dancer Shane Moon, and Libby Bloxham, who creates wearable art.

Organisers Carolyn Nowaczyk and Nina Kourea, of the studio, said sessions were open to people who didn't consider themselves artists.

"We're trying to engage not only artists and are getting quite a good response," Nowaczyk said. "We want to support the performers around Wollongong."

Sessions cost $15 and are capped at 20 people.

Bookings are essential at or 0439 434 023.

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