PICTURE: About 2,500 people stripped naked at an Australian beach for a photoshoot aimed to raise awareness of skin cancer in Bondi beach KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Saturday, November 26, 2022

PICTURE: About 2,500 people stripped naked at an Australian beach for a photoshoot aimed to raise awareness of skin cancer in Bondi beach

About 2,500 people stripped naked at an Australian beach for a photoshoot aimed to raise awareness of skin cancer.

The crowd gathered to take part in the latest work by US photographic artist Spencer Tunick, who is known for naked photo shoots at important landmarks around the world.
"We have an opportunity to raise awareness about skin checks and I'm honoured ... to come here, make my art and just celebrate the body and protection," Tunick said at the beach in Sydney, according to Reuters.

It is Tunick's fourth project in Australia, following on from a 2010 shoot in which he gathered some 5,500 people at Sydney's famous Opera House.
Tunick is partnering with Skin Check Champions, a charity that runs free, educational skin check clinics. The installation coincided with Australia's National Skin Cancer Action Week, when Scott Maggs, the founder of the charity, will be urging everyone in the country to get a skin check.

Maggs founded Skin Check Champions in 2010, after his friend Wes Bonny died of skin cancer at the age of 26. The charity has since received endorsements from the likes of British businessman Richard Branson -- and is hoping Tunick's stark photos will draw global attention to the disease.
"We're aiming for a minimum of 2,000 participants to represent the 2,000+ Aussies that are killed by skin cancer every year," said Maggs in a press release.

"If the Sydney Opera House can get 5,500 on a cold morning in March 2010, we're hoping to reach our goal of 2,500," he said. "Everyone is welcome to participate, we welcome all body types, genders, and race -- with a passion to stop skin cancer in its tracks."
Tunick said in a statement that it was "an honor to be a part of an art mission to raise awareness of the importance of skin checks" — and added that he himself would be benefiting from the campaign, having been convinced to get his first skin check in 10 years.

Tunick has staged around 100 large-scale nude photos in public places around the world, from Munich to Mexico City, where he shot a reported 18,000 naked participants.
But these shoots are not easy. As thousands of volunteers strip off, city officials have been known to intervene — leading to Tunick's arrest on multiple occasions.
Tunick was once caught in a dispute between the US Supreme Court and New York's then-mayor Rudi Giuliani, who believed the city would be "irreparably harmed" if one of the shoots were staged there.
In 2018, an Australian supermarket chain banned Tunick from holding a shoot in the parking lot of one of its Melbourne stores — a decision that was eventually overturned following a high-profile petition.

Some 2,500 naked volunteers have posed in the early morning light on Sydney's Bondi Beach for an artwork designed to raise awareness of skin cancer.

The installation is American photographer Spencer Tunick's latest project, aimed at encouraging Australians to get regular skin checks.

Legislation was changed to allow public nudity on the beach for the first time.

Australia is the country in the world worst affected by skin cancer, the World Cancer Research Fund says.

"I had melanoma removed myself, from my arm, and I really would love to spread the word that everybody should get their skin checked," one participant said.  

"Everybody knows somebody who's been affected by skin cancer in Australia."

While the thought of being naked with a group of strangers had daunted some, they said they soon got used to it.

"They did a countdown and then everyone just did it at the same time… it was surreal. It's never going to happen again in Bondi. Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said one.

"The nudity is the least of it. It's the sand in the face and the salt in the air," laughed another.

After a shoot that took well over an hour, many were keen to get home to a warm shower.

Bondi Beach is the second Sydney landmark to be chosen by Tunick as a backdrop for his work.

In 2010, he photographed 5,000 naked people on the steps of the Opera House as a tribute to the city's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

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