Blarney Nudes

Nude installation at Blarney Castle by Spencer Tunick

Around 1000 people gathered at dawn in Blarney Castle for a naked photoshoot by contemporary artist Spencer Tunick

About 1,000 people bared all early today in the historic surroundings of Blarney Castle in Cork for a massive nude photoshoot by acclaimed contemporary artist Spencer Tunick. Volunteers stripped naked in the grounds of the beauty spot for the dawn spectacle, which forms part of the Cork Midsummer Festival.

Tunick, who has been documenting the live nude figure in public since 1992, has created scores of images in spectacular locations including New York, Amsterdam and Mexico city. His temporary site-specific installations have attracted up to 18,000 participants.

Tunick said he was thrilled with the turnout, which organisers estimated topped 1,100 people, and urged the public to think of the nude form as art. He also praised local councillors for their support. “I cannot believe over 1000 people showed up,” Tunick said.

“I was expecting a little bit lower than that. They are very rebellious down here in Cork.

“I just want to reiterate that it’s very very important that government, politicians and the city council accept the body in public space for a small time.. in order to create art with a nude body.

“The body is not pornography, the body is not crime while naked. It can be art for a short period of time.”

[From – Breaking News – Volunteers strip for mass photoshoot]

I am still upset that I missed out on the Melbourne installation a few years back. Spencer Tunick has done a lot for nude art, in the last eight years, his attitudes and installations help to reinforce the idea that nudity isn’t inherently sexual but natural and even fun, a unifying concept that links us all at the most basic level. His works, to me, sometimes seem bleak, almost frightening where all the people look like clones and act like sheep, and others, like the recent Euro 2008 tournament have a sense of fun and whimsy. Tunick’s installation on Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland was awarded Time Magazine’s Picture of the Year last year.

Tunick’s work has been criticized in the past and there have been court orders to try to prevent his installations from taking place, but the very public nature of his work is one of the things that makes it so compelling and the final results so interesting. the installation is not just about the photographs, although that is what most people see, it’s also about people braving the elements, public scrutiny and an artist’s whims clad in nothing but their skin.

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