Baring all for art - Slea Head in January?

The groves of Blarney,
They look so charming,
Down by the purlings,
Of sweet silent brooks,
All decked by posies,
That spontaneous grow there ...

ANY insomniac tourist who felt a stroll through the groves of Blarney was just the thing to blow away the cobwebs would have had more than the charms of the dawn chorus competing for their attention early yesterday morning.

American photographer Spencer Tunick convinced more than 1,000 people that they would contribute to our cultural enrichment by baring all and being part of his continuing, international project which involves groups of nudes arranged in various locations.

The Blarney event pales into insignificance compared last year’s standard-setting flesh fest when approximately 18,000 people posed for Tunick in Mexico City’s principal square, the Zócalo.

Whether it’s art or not you’ll have to decide for yourself, but that it happened at all is an indication of how much we have moved on from being a prudish, nudge-nudge nation, many of us terribly uncomfortable in our own skins.

It is unimaginable that an event like this would have happened even 20 years ago without the attention of vociferous and angry protesters who would warn of filth, damnation and “doing the devil’s work”.

The absence of protesters was welcome and Mr Tunick considered his collaborators’ comfort by arranging the event for a fine midsummer’s morning. Maybe the next time he should raise the bar a bit and test their commitment to their art.

Say, Slea Head next January?


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