Months ago when I wrote that I was considering taking part in the Spencer Tunick installation at the Opera House, it was just that, considering.
Filling in my application wasn’t a signed deal, if you know what I mean. As the day crept closer, the worry started to set in. Was this really going to happen?
The final confirmation email came through and the day arrived. Call time was 4am on a chilly Monday morning. Do I shave or just go to the shoot wild downstairs? Are other people going to be looking at you, or just be wrapped up in their own discomfort? Opting for the wild look, I dressed in loose-fitting clothing and waited for my lift.
Jumping in the car, my nervous friends giggled and joked as the car nudged bumper-to-bumper to the Opera House. ‘Peak hour’ traffic at 4am? Or are they all going down to do Spencer?
Gridlock traffic and they were all heading down to get nude at the Opera House. There were thousands — all shapes and sizes, boys, girls, gays, lesbians, straights. As early as we were, we were latecomers so we were mustered into the Botanical Gardens with a clear plastic bag for our belongings. Freezing, we waited for further instructions, with many deciding to have a little shuteye while waiting.
Before I knew it, 6.30am came and we were taking our clothes off. This was a sign for my friend to disappear, leaving me by myself, nude. Sporadic cold winds had boys covering and a cheer from the girls. All in front of the Opera House nude!
After a while, you felt less uncomfortable and more awake. Familiar faces in the crowd smiled.
Spencer had a great idea to do a couple picture, but as I was flying solo, I turned to the small, pixie-like lesbian to my left. We nervously smiled and, pressing our cheeks together, we both jumped from our comfort zones.
After many different set-ups at the steps and just as many helicopters, we were divided up, with some sent to the Concert Hall, and the rest divided into boys and girls for a Botanical Garden shoot.
Naked in public and a naked embrace of a girl — two huge firsts for me. Where do I go from here?