Sydney stripped bare for Opera House shoot
Naked Sydneysiders of all shapes, sizes and colours gathered on the steps of the Sydney Opera House this morning to be the subjects of an art installation.
About 5,000 people disrobed for Spencer Tunick’s work called The Base, which is part of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival.
Tunick is famous for shooting images of people massed together sharing one common element – nakedness.
Those taking part included rugby league players, doctors, teachers and a woman pregnant with twins who will be induced later today.
Participants arrived in the early hours of the morning, excited to be involved in the event.
“It’s just a spectacular opportunity, I think, to be a part of a history-making artwork,” one participant said.
“I’m from Estonia so when I saw this Spencer Tunick Base I was like, ‘Wow, I want to be here’,” added another.
Shots were taken of people standing with their hands in the air, embracing and lying down.
The work aims to promote equality and diversity in the community.
Tunick says he was pleased with today’s turnout, which eclipsed a similar event in Melbourne nine years ago.
“My biggest challenge was to fill up this large space and make a ‘base’ of gay, lesbian and straight individuals to make a fabric,” he said.
“I think I did that. I think I accomplished what I set out to do artistically.
“I’m just very honoured to be part of the Mardi Gras – the gay and lesbian Mardi Gras – and bring the straight community of Australia together with the gay community,” he added.
Sydney playwright Tommy Murphy says for him, the shoot was a protest against a recent crackdown on nude bathing in Sydney’s east.
“On the other side of Sydney, at La Perouse, there are police kicking people off nude beaches, so I think it’s very important to be naked on a public monument this morning,” Murphy said.
“I think it’s an important enough statement and it would be nice for Sydneysiders to wake up and see a bit of flesh this morning.”