Judge for yourself – the “highly explicit” nudes by Tuckey and Eames (photo courtesy of the ABC)
“I unwrapped my work and they looked at it and told me it was inappropriate and they would not hang it in the exhibition,’’ Ms Tuckey, a TAFE art teacher, said.
“They said that school children would be seeing the exhibition. I couldn’t believe anything as simple as a nude drawing of a female adult that is not full
frontal … would not be accepted. It was a rude shock.
“I think some of them are ignorant of what art is, this is art and this is an art exhibition. I’d say (to the council) grow up.’’
A nude portrait won an award at the same exhibition last year in which Mr Eames was allowed to enter a nude sculpture of the Greek god Poseidon “rising
from the cliffs with his penis exposed’’.
Mr Eames, of Tea Tree Gully, said he was “dumbfounded’’ to be excluded this year. “I said `you’ve got to be joking’ and the organiser said `if you’re both going
to continue to protest, I’ll have to ask you to leave the premises’.
“I argued that school children go through tours at galleries like the South Australian Art Gallery and see nudity all the time. The (organisers) said it’s coming
from the Mayor and their hands are tied … They need to get with the times, don’t be a bunch of prudes, this is the real world.’’
Another example of a knee jerk reaction following the Henson and Nelson Debacles. The fact that a nude won last year just highlights the sheer hypocrisy at work in the Arts councils at the moment. the works are very nice, classical nudes. there is nothing sexual, indecent or provocative about them. There was a time when the US was considered to be more prudish, more censored and fearful, but this year Australia has really taken the cake. According to the Mayor, who had not actually seen the works in question, these pieces are “extremely graphic” nudes.
Mayor Miriam Smith denied she had ordered staff to reject nude entries.
She said it was a “staff decision’’ but one she supported. “Staff rightly so rejected the pieces based on their graphic nudity,’’ she said. “… it’s not about the pieces of art work, it’s about the environment they were to be displayed it’s not an art gallery it’s a community show where children can come into.’’
While Ms Smith said she was not “personally opposed to nude art … when people go (to the exhibition) they don’t expect to be confronted with extremely graphic nude pieces of art work’’.
There is, however, a happy ending. Russell Starke of Greenhill Galleries was so appalled by this senseless censorship that he snapped up both works for his gallery. within days, the sculpture by artist Scott Eames sold for $1000. He has also received an offer for a solo exhibition at Greenhill galleries next year.