News: Jenny Eclair Returns With New Daily Art Show

News: Jenny Eclair Returns With New Daily Art Show

Drawers Off is a brand-new Daytime format on Channel 4, presented by comedian Jenny Eclair. In the series, amateur artists reveal their naked ambition as they compete to win a cash prize by creating life-portraits of each other.

Stripped Monday to Friday, this new series is produced by MultiStory Media North, part of ITV Studios, and Motion Content Group. It will feature five different artists each week, but these artists aren’t just here to paint...they’ll each take it in turn to show some flesh and strike a special pose.

Drawers Off iwas commissioned for Channel 4 by Jo Street, Head of Daytime & Features and Head of Hub, Glasgow. It has been produced by MultiStory Media North and Motion Content Group, and the executive producers are Will Yapp and Ceri Aston for MultiStory and Martin Oxley for Motion Content Group.

Drawers Off starts on C4 on Monday, March 1 at 5.30pm and runs daily on weekdays.

Jenny Eclair is touring later this year. Details here.

 

Read an interview with Jenny Eclair below 

 

Drawers Off will feature five different amateur artists each week who will take turns to pose for each other. Can you tell us a bit more about the format of the show and what do they need to prove to win?


Drawers Off is a fascinating and wildly unpredictable series. Basically, that’s it in a nutshell, each artist takes in turn to pose, the other four get painting and when the hour is up, it’s the model’s choice as to who goes through to the winner’s gallery. At the end of the week, there are five life drawings in the gallery and the artists vote for their favourite. Sometimes the artist you would put money on doesn’t win the cash prize. There’s a thousand pounds up for grabs but I think most people get a huge buzz out of the process even if they don’t win. With art mentor Diana Ali on hand to give advice, some of the artists have improved beyond recognition and most of them go home having tried something they’ve never tried before.

As Drawers Off is a daytime series, how much nudity is on show?

Most art shows depict nudes at some point, I think we’re all grown up enough to deal with it. We don’t want people to be put off doing the show because they think it’s just about getting your kit off. That’s not the case, we have artists who come from cultures that are sensitive to nudity and we respect that and work with it. It’s a daytime show so there are rules and regulations as to how much flesh can be on display. In any case, the last thing we wanted to do was make any of our models feel embarrassed or exposed, lets just say there is a lot of very tasteful draping.

You must be so pleased to be presenting an art series, tell us about your love of drawing, what do you like to draw the most?

Art is hugely important to me, it’s my go to therapy and one of my passions. Living in London I’m a regular moocher of galleries (when they’re open) and during the pandemic I did some online tutorials and painted or used my oil pastels several times a week. I do a mixture of still life and copies of better artists in order to learn new techniques. Basically, I’m a terrible amateur artist, but I don’t see why that should stop me experimenting and enjoying myself!

Do you think you need a lot of confidence to be a life-model?

I’ve been there, done that, I find prudery really dull, but I also understand very well how many people are plagued by body image issues. I’m an overweight middle- aged woman riddled with cellulite, but I would trust the programme and particularly Diana to find a pose that made me feel absolutely cool about being semi clad on telly. I promise you no one is standing there fully starkers.

Have you tried life-drawing yourself and have you had a chance to do any sketching of your own during filming?

I’ve done a number of painting classes at Dulwich Art Gallery in recent years. Life drawing has been part of these sessions and once upon a time in my twenties I was a life model myself, so there’s nothing I haven’t shown or seen myself. Hands and feet are always the tricky bit, bosoms are the easiest, not that we get to show bosoms on Drawers off.

What can you tell us about the contributors on the show? Have you seen some real talent so far?

Yes, there has definitely been loads of talent. Some people have been trained; most are self-taught. The contestants vary from dabbling middle-aged women to digital graphic designers, to tattoo artists wanting to expand their range.

Will viewers at home be able to learn techniques from this series too? Will you be taking any artistic tips from the set to try at home?

Viewers will learn a lot of different art techniques while watching, though no-one used my preferred medium, which is oil pastel! I might have another bash with chalk pastel, though it’s a messy medium for someone like me. Following Diana around from easel to easel has been incredibly useful, I’ve learned loads about proportion, colour washes and thinking before just diving in.

What has it been like filming with respected art curator Diana Ali?

Excellent! She’s got a fabulously big art brain and really knows her stuff. It was great seeing her suggestions come to life on the artistseasels, it was fascinating to see how she could help people.

Do you have a favoured artistic style when you buy or admire art? Who is your favourite artist?

So many, Hockney for his longevity and decade after decade of genius, Basquiat for the oomph factor, Henry Moore for his sculptures, Tracey Emin for being Tracey Emin but then again, I’m a sucker for a very traditional oil painting of a vase of flowers, so basically anyone in the Bloomsbury group. I could go on; every week I discover someone whose work knocks my socks off! 

 

Jenny Eclair Interview supplied by C4. 

 

Jenny Eclair Picture: C4

  

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