Sucked into the Vortex

Martha & Eve 12th July '10 Vortex for artist Gina Southgate in action

The tutor at Candid yesterday encouraged students to ‘feel the model with both hands – really go all over her body covering the whole volume’. This must be timely because I squelched from pose to pose, bathing in the remote double-handed attention. Anne works well with me, she knows I excel in sensual dynamism and she makes good use. I arch and curve like the best alley cat.

After, I duck on down to Dalston, where friend from birth Caroline Young is entreating me to urban gypsy jazz queen, Sarah Gillespie. This goes down well in the charming intimacy at The Vortex. There are in-jokes and a solid following, captivating delivery too.

Caroline and I were born beds from each other in Archway, back in the late ’70s. As a child my fiddling Father wanted me to learn the violin, and at Saturday orchestra my new best friend… was Caroline. I brought her home, and our Mums remembered each other. Caroline’s had been the memorable vegan on the ward.

Our friendship didn’t look back, and she’s always helped me to depart from the rails when she can. We hit festivals in ’92, drugs soon after. A bit later I wandered off to the Slimelight, she preferring ‘the hippie thing’. Now our lives are seemingly different; she has a family, and I have resisted all sorts of responsibility. One thing we do share is following artistic passion, and creating business from it. She is leading the way in beautiful face & body painting. I of course can’t stop removing my garments, so at some point a uniting of talents I hope is inevitable.

The Vortex is decorated with artwork produced by Gina Southgate, who painted the live musicians on various occasions. It makes for messy, spirited and vibrant action.