Bold. Showing the willingness to take risks. Brave. Having the ability to show the world all your imperfections. Beautiful. Embracing those imperfections because that’s what makes you, you. Georgia Fletcher has been providing the reference of her nude body to artists for over 30 years now as a figure model.
Fletcher began her modeling career as a source of income. She was already modeling for a figure drawing workshop when Associate Professor Peter Roos took over running the program. After working together for awhile, Roos asked Fletcher to come model for his classes at Keene State College.
“I was the person teaching figure painting and drawing, so I took over the workshop, and she was a regular model for that. She’d been modeling for the workshop before I got here, but it wasn’t being run through the school,” Roos explained. “So we started working together, and she’s been a regular model for all these years.”
As she continued to model, more and more people began contacting her and asked her to pose for them.
“It’s kind of like when a plant spreads its seeds,” Fletcher said, describing how people reached out to her.
However, as time went on, Fletcher’s purpose for modeling began to shift.
“I started to really have a relationship with the artists. I started to understand how important it is for them that I’m willing to do this work,” Fletcher expressed.
One of the aspects that Fletcher said she values most in her line of work is the relationship between the artist and the model. Describing it as a “sacred and honest relationship” in a piece she wrote for the online personal photography project “Growing Up Girl” by Lori Pedrick, Fletcher is able to appreciate the work the artist is doing and vise versa.
“There became this symbiotic relationship between me and the artists, and I really deeply valued being part of art and being involved in it in this way. I will never stop modeling no matter where I go.”
One of the relationships Fletcher made was with Liz Gallacher when she asked Fletcher to model for her senior project last year. Originally, Gallacher planned on portraying Fletcher as a victim in her project on rape culture. However, after their first photoshoot, Gallacher took the project in a different direction.
“I decided to put her in a more positive light and use her as a powerful figure rather than her being beaten down,” Gallacher explained.
Fletcher expressed her amazement of the final product.“The work that was generated from our working together was these huge pieces that were just bold and brave and fearless and completely invited everyone to look at the beauty that is the variety of how we view our bodies.”
Throughout the entirety of her adult life, Fletcher has continued to model, no matter what shape her body has been in. She feels it is important to the growth of an artist to continue to present the human figure honestly.
“My body had changed a lot. I did this through a pregnancy, I did this through being really in shape and then to now,” Fletcher continued. “I valued being able to participate in art because I think it’s a fundamental way we communicate as human beings.”
So after the past 30 years of contributing her figure to benefit the work of artists, how does it feel to be a figure model?
With a smile, Fletcher explained, “There’s a boldness about it that I embrace.”
Erin can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org