I can honestly estimate that it took under an hour for things to stop being weird and start being awesome. By day three, it all seemed so incredibly normal, and the benefits were astounding — everything the open-office trend promised and more. We instantly shared a gleeful camaraderie; a deep and trusting bond permeated every meeting.
Nudity and art have had a long association, but two south-east Queenslanders are taking the idea of stripping down to their birthday suit to another level.
Fiona Skelton and Sam Hatfield have danced nude on the Schwebebahn in sleepy German town Wuppertal, and rode across the Sydney Harbour Bridge with nothing but a helmet, boots and gloves on all in the name of art.
The pair is behind an online art movement called Naked Me which challenges attitudes towards nudity through photography, video and visual art.
Speaking to 612 ABC’s Spencer Howson from Texas, USA, Fiona says the point of their shameless naked romp is to make being comfortable with one’s own nudity cool.
“It is a little crazy, [but] we’re artists using our creativity to address the social issue of nudity and people not being cool with it,” she says.
She says by stripping down in a very public way it challenges others to “think about their own attitudes to nudity.”
The films feature the pair with next to nothing on in well known places, but Sam says they’re yet to run into any trouble.
“We were a little worried because there are 150 security cameras on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and we weren’t sure what was going to go down if we were confronted by authorities.
“But it all went off without a hitch!” he says.
Fiona says they’ve been pleasantly surprised by how receptive people are to the public displays of nudity.
“We recently shot for a new we’re working on in London. We were at Abbey Road and [everyone] cheered and clapped and laughed when we’d [finished].”
Sam says it’s very freeing once he’s fully exposed and in full flight, so to speak.
“The adrenaline takes over and it is quite exciting to do, so I don’t give it much thought.”
Aside from revealing themselves in public places in the name of the project, the duo has just launched a new project called Skinestry.
“We’re going to create a digital tapestry that evolves over time, made up entirely of photos of skin,” Sam says, “and we’d love the people of Brisbane to get on board.”
People are encouraged to upload a photo of any part of their naked skin at the Naked Me website.
Sam says the only rule is that the photo must be zoomed or cropped so that skin fills the entire image.
Today im stuck at home, waiting for work to call me in, sometime…….
I dont mind being at home because I am lucky enough to be in a place where I can be nude most of the time. Today however I d rather be at the beach
Naturism is also about accepting yourself for what you are… A creature of Nature. It’s about not trying to fit a single perfect body type, but considering each and every person as an exciting and beautiful part of Nature itself. You really don’t need to be slimmer, or bigger, or rounder, or more muscular, or whatever else, to be accepting of yourself and to really believe that you truly are beautiful. Also… neither accidents, or surgery, or childbirth, or ageing, or even your place on the social register can or ever will change any of that.
“I was drawn in by the great equalising aspect of naturism. It is an interesting question how far people would retain their respective rank if they were divested of their clothes. When all other things are held equal, when nude, a rich person appears no different than a poor person, or a really fashionable person appears no different to someone who has to make do with the clothing they have. Thus, these classifications disappear and the playing field is levelled. In the naturist environment, I feel like I’m their equal – I’m not better than them, nor they are better than me, we are just human. By removing clothing I feel a barrier between people is gone and I’m more able to meet and to talk to others without the feeling that I or they have something to hide.”
After a morning of cleaning up around the house, I took a small fall and hurt my back. I have spent most of the day laying down resting my back. I know I’d rather be at my favourite creek wading into the water and let the back stress be released by the water.
Oh to have water envelope me. The sea, the gentle waves lifting me, rolling me. Its like the energy of creation touching and lilting through every nerve ending. I feel the creators forgiveness, grace and love carry away all burdens, condemnation and fear. My saviour speaks to me through water, I am reminded of the power of baptism, the statement of Gods redemption of my total being, body, mind, spirit. So every chance I get, I cast of the outer garments and allow water to penetrate every pore, worshipping my Creator in openness, honesty and joy.(grasseynoel)