Everyone (18 years old and over) is welcome to take part in the salons. We believe that everyone can draw and hope that by offering inspiring, curious scenes and tableaux vivant we can allow people of all levels of drawing confidence to enjoy experimenting with mark making and expressing themselves on paper.

Art Macabre’s Director Nikki Shaill aka host Raven Rouge, photographed at Morbid Anatomy Library in New York.

Art Macabre resurrect the fun and playfulness of putting pencil to paper through London’s only “death drawing” salons. RIP memories of boring drawing classes as events producer Nikki Shaill, aka ghostly host Raven Rouge, invites you to try your hand at skeletal sketching. Believing passionately that everyone can enjoy experimenting with drawing given the right inspiration, Art Macabre’s nocturnal ring-mistress aims to inject a lethal dose of theatricality, curiosity and the macabre into life drawing and encourages you to brandish an artistic weapon of choice and make some killer marks.

Art Macabre Drawing Salons, formerly known as ‘Death Drawing’ and ‘Swallows and Amazons’. have been running since 2009, founded by Nikki Shaill, Ladyfest Ten team including artist and educator Ellie Green, and the beautiful, talented Lucinda ‘Lux’ Chell aka Lux de Luxe. Lux played an integral part of developing the salons and shaping their macabre themes, not to mention pioneering the soundtracks and many of the playlists you’ll hear played during the salons are her eclectic musical legacy. Her creative and curious spirit lives on through the events and she is a much missed collaborator, artist and friend to Art Macabre.

From film noir to folk rituals, Nikki concocts different themes for each event that take a macabre yet playful, sometimes serious and more often humorous, look at death and the darker side of life. Founded on All Hallow’s Eve in 2010, evolving from Ladyfest Ten’s DIY feminist drawing events, Art Macabre developed in response to a demand for drawing events that presented a more diverse variety of models. From the start, the events focussed on allowing models to express their unique character as they posed, whether through sharing their hidden talents or baring their secret tattoos for the participants’ drawing delight. Narrative, costumes and props have become increasingly elaborate and important features of the events and tableaux.

Amongst the hundreds of models who have been involved over the past two years, are mime artist duos, roller derby athletes, circus clowns, yoga practitioners and morris dancers. The oldest model posed with her teeth out, and props range from pig’s hearts and chocolate banquets, to leopard skulls and taxidermy chickens. Movement and dynamic poses have been explored through models suspended by Japanese rope bondage, Mexican wrestlers competing in railway tunnels and dance from the ancient practice of Butoh to voguing.

Monthly salons are held at Tower of London (called Drawn at the Tower), twice a month at The Book Club on Saturday afternoons, and regularly at other venues such as Royal Academy lates, Barts Pathology Museum, The Star by Hackney Downs, The Proud Archivist and other venues in London and beyond. Salons have been held in Parisian cafe gardens, outdoors at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Latitude, Festival No 6 and Wilderness festivals, Ashmolean Museum, British Museum, Salon London and many more places.

As an events producer and arts programmer, Nikki Shaill aspires to continually create the kind of cultural experiences that she would like to attend; participatory, inclusive, original, multi-sensory, provocative and nurturing of creativity in its widest and wildest forms.

Our models are artists, burlesque performers, musicians, rollergirls, dancers or just friends eager to pose nude. Interested in appearing at the salons and got an idea for that something special you could bring to the theme? We’re dying to hear from you.


Twitter: @ArtMacabreLDN

Instagram: @ArtMacabre
Pinterest: Art Macabre
deathdrawing at gmail dot com

Tickets site: http://artmacabre.bigcartel.com

1 Response to WHO

  1. COLIN GENTRY says:


    I’m interested in being a life model for Death Drawing.

    Would be great to find out more!



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