Shiftless Shuffle at Houndsditch - Oscar Romp Artist
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Shiftless Shuffle at Houndsditch

Shiftless Shuffle at Houndsditch, May 2014, featuring Jerry IDJ (unfinished state).
Charcoal and Pastel on Canson Paper.
55cm x 75cm 2014

At this time the regular monthly jazz dance session run by Christiana Hennecke and Perry Louis was energised, and in a particularly creative stage. The Jazzcotech International Weekender was soon to be launched by them in partnership with Jeff The Fish, In Perpignan, France.There was a renewal of interest as a result. Every session was busy, with many new faces old and young. The session had become a favourite subject for various professional photographers such as Irven Lewis Jacqueline Mellor, and Steff Saint E. from Perpignan. The music at that time was very diverse, incorporating a lot of accessible Jazz funk tunes, Latin Jazz and Afrobeat as well as the more obscure Fusion and Bebop, which is the Shiftless staple diet.

Its more or less down to chance, which dancers become figures and muses in my drawings, depending on where I am working and what I can see in front of me. Many figures are unspecific, focusing on movement and form rather than identity, and others are particular;y observed drawings of people who I do not actually know to talk to. There are life long dancer friends of mine who, by chance have not yet been included in a drawing. Jerry IDJ was one such person, and on this occasion, fuelled by rum and coke, I decided that this had to change, so Jerry patiently modelled for me, keeping stock still for about ten minutes so that I could put him in the foreground of my emerging clubs cape. When I left the club that evening, the drawing looked like this. But I later reworked and finished it in the studio. The finished drawing was given to Raph as thanks for hospitality provided by himself and the other organisers. Also featured in this drawing are Kola in his bowler hat, and Ade, both of whom I have drawn dozens of times over the last 25 years at loads of different venues.


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