Thousands of people get naked on Bondi Beach for a photo shoot to raise skin cancer awareness

November 29, 2022

A huge crowd of naked people filled Bondi Beach, one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks, on Saturday morning, November 26, for photographer Spencer Tunick’s latest art installation, reports Insider.

 According to his own website,  Tunick has been documenting the live nude figure in public, with photography and video, since 1992. Since 1994, he has organized over 100 temporary site-related installations that encompass dozens, hundreds, or thousands of volunteers, and his photographs are records of these events. In his early group works, the individuals en masse, without their clothing, grouped together, metamorphose into a new shape. The bodies extend into and upon the landscape like a substance.

The November 26 photo shoot was organized by Tunick to raise awareness of skin cancer—with the 2,500-person crowd representing the number of Australians who die from the disease each yearThe Guardian reported. According to the news outlet, Tunick hopes to encourage regular skin checks among Australians.

“Skin unites us and protects us,” he told The Guardian. “I use the amazing array of body types and skin tones to create my work, so it feels perfectly appropriate to take part in this effort in that my medium is the nude human form.”

The artist used a megaphone to instruct the crowd during the shoot, as per The Guardian. “Put your arms out when you’re posing,” he called. “Don’t get naked yet.”

Tunick had the group pose in several different configurations before some took a morning dip in the sea, The Print added.

Nudity is usually banned on the beach, but special legislation was implemented to allow the photo shoot. Those taking part had to be fully clothed by 10 a.m. in order to avoid a fine, according to The Guardian.

Tamera Francis wrote about taking part in the shoot for The Sydney Morning Herald: “If I can be part of something that prevents unnecessary deaths, I will. Even if that means freezing off what little tatas I have and dealing with the logistical nightmare that is herding thousands of uncaffeinated naked people,” she penned.

“If I could have prevented my dad’s and my nan’s fatal cancer diagnoses with something as simple as a skin check or wearing sunscreen every day, I would,” she added.

Another naked model, Sarah Bowen, told the Guardian that her sister and father had survived melanoma. On her experience of the nude shoot, she said: “It was freezing, but also empowering to be with so many people supporting the cause and also just being like naked and seeing so many different people and shapes and sizes. Everyone just being comfortable being naked. It was wonderful.

Back in 2010, Tunick gathered 5,000 nude Australians in front of the Sydney Opera House in celebration of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Reuters previously reported.

Research contact: @thisisinsider