Indigo’s November cover shoot

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When I first suggested the idea of putting a nude model on the front cover of Indigo, I was worried I would have trouble finding volunteers. Instead, the level of response I received was incredible.

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Have you ever been to a life drawing session? It can be a nerve-racking thing the first time you attend one, as I found out at age 14, when I first gave life drawing a go. Adding to the obvious coyness I felt about attempting to draw naked people was the fact that my Dad was taking the same art course along with me…

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So why exactly is life drawing done with no clothes? Just to embarrass pubescent boys? As amusing as that aspect of it is, the fundamental purpose of life drawing is, of course, for artists to capture human form. A draftsman doesn’t want to be focusing on the texture of cotton or denim when they’re trying to focus on skin patterns or the shape of the human figure.

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But there is a deeper aspect to human form too; one that goes beyond someone’s physical appearance. Remove someone’s clothes, and you’ve removed their armour; their protective guard; their defence, both physically and mentally. We alone among animals have this ability to assert both our appearance and our personality by changing our outer layers. Well, perhaps the hermit crab too, who knows…

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Without clothes, a person loses that need to protect themselves. We start to behave differently; we become fearless. In light of recent tragic events across the world, perhaps we all need a reminder that, underneath, we’re all very similar: beings of flesh and blood that are afraid, but can overcome fear if the right conditions arise; if we are given a chance to let down our armour.

If this edition’s cover achieves one thing, I hope this is it.

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Photographs: Venus Loi – Photography Editor (monochrome); Grace Tseng – Deputy Photography Editor (colour)

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