Hundreds of people have shed their clothes on a chilly Melbourne morning and draped themselves in sheer red fabric to be part of the latest photo shoot by internationally renowned photographer Spencer Tunick.
About 300 nude models were draped in the fabric on top of a supermarket carpark in Prahran to create the piece called Melbourne Spirit.
“I worked quickly to keep them from freezing and I think I got some beautiful artworks,” the New York-based photographer said.
“There was cloud cover. That was perfect for me.
“I often fight against the sun so I was very lucky to have that and I expressed myself and I’m very happy.”
Tunick has done many nude photo shoots around the world, including on the steps of the Sydney Opera House in 2010.
Retail giant Woolworths originally denied permission for the shoot at its carpark because it was scheduled for the busy weekend period and the company was worried about inconveniencing customers. But the go-ahead was given when the date was changed.
About 12,000 people applied to take part. Belle Harvey and Chloe Horler were chosen to participate. They called it an “incredible” and “beautiful” experience.
“I’ve struggled with body image issues in the past so it’s part of the journey of overcoming body image issues so it was great,” Ms Horler said.
“As soon as everybody got naked I was like ‘yep I’m good, I’m fine’.”
Ms Harvey said while it was cold – the temperature was hovering around nine degrees Celsius – there was no mucking around.
“It was really lovely to be connecting with people in a way that was different. It was very respectful as well,” she said.
“Every now and then we’d laugh and he’d be like ‘you need to be quiet, no smiling, hands up’.”
Red fabric ‘surprisingly warm’ on chilly morning
Tunick said the photo was about “a provocative spirit”.
“[It was about] someone who not only has a history of going beyond their limits but also touches upon a different world, the aftermath and also the past,” he said.
Jane Louise, an experienced life model, said once she got into the zone she was focused.
Spencer Tunick takes a photograph while standing on a ladder between two other photographers.
“You get focused on what Spencer’s directing you to do and where you need to go and how you need to use your fabric,” she said.
The cold was not a problem for Scott Stringer, until they were told to lie down.
“It’s surprising, this fabric is quite warm when you’re wrapped in it,” he said.
People draped in sheer red fabric lined up along the balcony of a building in Prahran.
“The coldest pose was one where we lay down on our backs and covered up with it. So there was direct contact with the concrete and it was pretty chilly.”
Two other smaller photographs will be taken in other parts of Prahran as part of the Provocare art festival.