Monday, March 01, 2010

No rest for the naked

I've not had much chance to do any photo-blogging for a few weeks as my new camera has been out of action.  A few days after I returned from Tasmania, one of its rechargeable batteries exploded on my bed while I was out of the house, burning through six layers of bed-linen and into the mattress. Panasonic asked for the battery remains and the camera (which was not in the house at the time) to be sent in, and it was only after repeated requests that they supplied a replacement camera. Getting all my bedding replaced is the next step.

The following weekend, Munson's playmate Morrissey (the 6mo mal) died under tragic circumstances. Within minutes of leaving the Mardi Gras Fair in Victoria Park, Morrissey suffered a series of convulsions and died before veterinary treatment could be obtained. From the timing and symptoms it is believed that Morrissey either drank from a doped water-bowl or picked up a tab of the drug dropped on the ground. Our hearts go out to Morrissey and his owner, Nick. Munson and I had been there earlier in the day and I had a sick feeling for days at how easily it could have been Munson in his place. It's hard enough making sure he doesn't pick up other dangerous discarded foodstuffs ( chicken bones especially ) without worrying about near undetectable dangers like these.

In happier news, I signed up to participate in photographer Spencer Tunick's latest art project at the Sydney Opera House. (Warning, lots and lots and lots of public nudity to follow, and in above link).

I caught a 4am bus in to Circular Quay and was surprised to find myself in a line that stretched nearly a kilometre back from the Opera House along Circular Quay's ferry terminals. Macquarie and Bridge streets were similarly backed up with people driving in for the event.

Circular Quay to Opera House The couple ahead of me in line were in their flannelette pyjamas, a lovely touch.

At the edge of the Opera House grounds I handed in my "model release form"  and received a clear plastic bag to put my things in when it was time to strip off later.

Thousands of people ahead of me had arrived early enough to get tickets for a separate installation to be photographed inside the main concert hall. In the meantime, I was herded into the top of the Botanic Gardens to wait on the grass as the crowds swelled further.

There was nothing to do really until sunrise and it was too dark to spot anyone I knew apart from some friends who were working as part of the marshalling crew.

 waiting for dawn in the Botanic Gardens

Sometime after 6am, the word came for us all to strip off, and with great woops of excitement, everyone took off their clothing, packed it into the plastic bags and surged into the area of the Opera House forecourt. It was a very joyous, liberating experience, and the body heat of the 5200 people who had turned up definitely helped dispel the dawn chills we were feeling by the harbour.

Over the next couple of hours we stood in various configurations on the south steps, facing in different directions, and also lying down, foot to shoulder. The final setup had the crowd pairing for warm embraces. During it all we were buzzed by press helicopters, and cruised by the commuter ferries and the local whale-watching boat (haha).

Opera House steps (Mark Sutcliffe)-1  tunick1-601

I've been able to pick myself out from the shots above - one from a friend's phone-cam, and the other from a Reuters picture. Everyone seemed remarkably unselfconscious, people of all ages and body types, even a few babes in arms. Stripped down to nothing, only warmth and humour remained.


After the outdoor shots were done, we returned to our bags to re-robe, while a lucky few thousand went into the main Concert Hall for some further shots. I was going to stay for the last shots in the Botanic Gardens but decided that waiting a few more hours wasn't worth it for the cold and tiredness I was experiencing.

A great life memory. I'm looking forward to seeing the official photos in coming weeks.

1 comment:

  1. How 'khool' about the photoshoot!

    We saw a piece on our news about it - we didn't know we should be looking for you!

    That is very sad about Morrissey - we hope he's having a blast across The Bridge during this full (worm) moon!

    YIKES on the camera batteries -