Artists Model

Nicholas Quirke was feeling time pressured on 26 April 2020 as he had shot 47 minutes of video in Tianjin and condensing this to 3+ minutes had spilled over into his Sunday, when he had foolishly agreed to meet his new friend, the artist Dong Wong at 10am. Dong wanted to do some drawings of him and as Peng was having to work and he was left to his own devices he had agreed to go to the 789 Art Park. It was quite a distance and would take over 1 hour on bike and subway. He had to leave early and took his IPad within him rather than his sketch book so he could finish. It was very clear that the mood in Beijing had now really changed. It was a Sunday morning and the subway was packed with people, absolutely no chance of social distancing anymore. He wondered about the tricks the mind plays as he knew exactly the train he needed to get on, he stood on the platform and studied the boards, yet somehow, in the heat of the moment, he got on the wrong train. This was also the point when he discovered his GoPro was out of power. He was going to have use his phone which made things clumsy and awkward particularly on a bike it was another beautiful warm sunny day with dazzling blue skies and with spirits high he cycled to meet his friend. He had to pass through security then walk through the urban park. The beauty of the ancient temples, ruins, parks and Palaces he had been absorbing had its opposite here in the landscape of this creative area, developed by artists from a closed derelict former industrial estate, which had its own dystopian enchantment. He met with Dong, and the two wandered the area absorbing the atmosphere and sights, taking photos, filming, chatting about the self employed life in UK and China before finding a location to sit down while Dong rendered him in watercolour and while he finished his blog. They both agreed that it was idyllic and free to sit in the spring sunshine, at a point of regrowth. The results of work were charming. After they separated Nicholas went to a nearby restaurant Peng had located and sat in the sunshine, amongst some vibrant coloured geraniums, eating a delicious Vegan power salad, before embarking on the long journey home. There’s was a pile of parcels which were mostly food but he discovered that one was a collapsible foot bath which he tried out that evening, after a very light supper as they watched ‘Night Moves’ and Eco thriller from a few years back. He had reached his winning weight again in the bet between himself and Peng, which had to be maintained for 4 days and he was determined to keep on track to ensure his friend had to endure another 2 weeks on a purely vegan diet.


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