By Jill Gralow
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian life model Leigh Pitchford casually poses with a towel partly draped over his naked body, ready to be sketched by a group of art students in Sydney.
Except, the class is empty, save for an art teacher and videographer.
In an era of physical isolation rules due to the coronavirus pandemic, artists, teachers and students have been forced to adapt.
Usually, Pitchford, wouldn’t wear any covering and has no issue being up close and personal with pupils, but prudence prevailed on his first webcast shoot on Thursday night.
“Typically there’s always a bit of nervous laughter and that sort of thing and I really quite enjoy making fun of them,” he told Reuters.
Now, there are fewer people to engage with, he said.
“It was a different energy, but at the same time, it was still lots of fun.”
Australians have been told to stay home and avoid gatherings of more than two people, as the country battles the disease that has so far infected 6,522 people and killed 65.
About 30 students used to take the class at the Oxford Street studio, but from Thursday they will be able to join video-conferences from their kitchen tables and bedrooms at home.
“People can join from wherever they are, like they don’t have to physically obviously be in Sydney. So, some people can join from abroad, different cities, maybe different countries, so that’s pretty good,” art teacher Daniel Parra said.
“Here we can zoom in, in the model shot, and then what I’m drawing. So that’s also good that people can see what I’m doing in a screen.”
(Reporting by Jill Gralow in Sydney; Editing by Paulina Duran and Giles Elgood)