My son rang and asked if I would pose for him for an art installation he was doing as part of the Medieval Art Week.
He said the installation would take him a week or two to organize and create but he needed an older man to be the model for his centre piece.
Being one to always support my son in his artistic endeavours I agreed without asking which aspect of the medieval he was referring to.
Imagine my surprise when arriving at his studio he said for me to get inside the cage he had hanging from the rafters. It was then that I asked him about the nature of his installation. He quickly informed me that his was going to be on medieval justice and looking around I saw he already created a set of stocks, a lashing triangle and hanging from the walls were various implements of torture he had created. I gulped as I stepped inside the metal cage. As it wasn’t my size height wise I had to bend my body to fit inside.
“Perfect,” he called as he set about sketching my bent body. It wasn’t long and the discomfort of having one’s body twisted into an abnormal shape began to tell.
“How much longer?” I asked as I could feel cramps beginning to develop.
“Are you feeling cramped? Uncomfortable?”
“Yes very much”
He was by now sketching furiously and at one stage came up close to me to capture the look of increasing pain on my face.
Finally, I was released and he was looking very happy with his efforts.
I asked the exact nature of his work. He said he had been researching the nature of medieval punishment and wanted to make it as real as he could. My modeling, as he put it would go a long way to making his work look authentic as the elderly were often, from his reading, made an example of if they caused too much grief within the community. I said I was hoping he wasn’t going to use my face. He smiled and said I’d have to wait and see.
I couldn’t help but think as I drove home there would be a few people thinking me being strung up in a cage ten feet off the ground was where I should belong.