Spencer Tunick - Mardi Gras : The Base -
Sydney Opera House
By Sean Lynch
Nudity. We all love it, we all do it - some
more than others, that person : Paris Hilton - but what goes through
the minds of those who get up at 5am to nude up on the steps of
Sydney's most famous landmark The Opera House in the name of art?
Internationally renowned artist Spencer Tunick returned to Australia,
this time to bring his unique form of art to the Sydney Opera House as
part of Sydney's 2010 Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.
invitation was sent out to thrill seekers of the world (gay, straight,
big or small) to be part of Tunick's latest nude art installation titled
"Mardi Gras : The Base" - and boy, did Sydney respond!
Over 5200 men and women of all shapes, sizes - and ages - turned out on
Monday March 1st 2010 at the Sydney Opera House at sunrise to be part
of the biggest Australian installation of Spencer Tunick's career.
His previous Aussie effort, in Melbourne, managed just over 4700 nude volunteers.
Tunick (born January 1, 1967) is best known for his photographic
artworks that feature large numbers of nude people posed in various
These "installations" are often situated in
locations throughout the world, although some of his most impressive
pieces have included native woodlands and beach installations.
He also puts together the occasional,
but slightly more creepy, individual and small group nude photos too.
Spencer Tunick's first naked portrait was in 1986, when he visited
London and photographed a nude at a bus stop, as well as scores of nudes in
Alleyn's School's Lower School Hall in Dulwich, Southwark.
By 1994, Tunick had organised and photographed over 65 temporary site related
He has since taken his nude artform internationally, with photos taken
in cities as far and wide as Dublin, Bruges, Buenos Aires, Buffalo,
Lisbon, London, Lyon, Melbourne, Montreal, Rome, Newcastle/Gateshead,
Vienna, Düsseldorf, Helsinki, Santiago, Amsterdam, on the Aletsch
Glacier and in Mexico City (in which a record 18,000 people turned out
in force... and in the nude).
"Mardi Gras : The Base" called on all Australians interested in taking
part to register at www.mardigras.org.au/tunick to reserve a place,
selling it as "the highlight of this year's Sydney Gay and Lesbian
Mardi Gras Festival".
Participation in the art installation was open
to all Australians, regardless of sexuality - and judging by the
results (only 2000 were originally expected) it was a resounding
"After visiting Sydney in 2009 I fell in love with its diverse people
and architecture and am honoured to show this amazing city off to the
world, especially from the base of such an iconic location" said
"The base, the core, the heart of any truly
depends on its acceptance of its diverse community as equal
citizens. I found this in abundance on my last trip to Sydney
when I witnessed the city’s inhabitants celebrate Mardi Gras" he
"Whether they were straight or gay, I found the people of Sydney to be
truly remarkable" Tunick concluded.
Nude enthusiasts lined up from 5am for the
shoot in various positions (which included full frontal, bums facing
the camera, lying down and even embracing the person next to them),
with the process finishing just after 8:30am.
For Future Spencer Tunick Artworks at www.spencertunick.com