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How LS Lowry inspired naked photo shoot in Salford

Naked people in front of Sydney Opera House; Lowry's Coming From The Mill (1930)
Spencer Tunick's naked shoot in Salford will mimic Lowry's bustling crowds

Posing nude in the name of art is nothing new. But 1,000 naked volunteers are being sought in Salford for a new exhibition inspired by artist LS Lowry.

The Lowry, which has the world's largest collection of paintings by LS Lowry, is marking its tenth year with an exhibition by 'naked' artist Spencer Tunick.

Tunick is famous for photographing large groups of naked people in cities from Santiago to Sao Paolo and from Melbourne to Mexico City: he recently asked 5,000 people to bare all on the steps of Sydney Opera House.

The Lowry
opened in April 2000
£106m performing and visual arts complex in Salford Quays
houses world's largest public collection of works by LS Lowry
celebrating ten years with Everyday People' exhibition and birthday party in June 2010

But on the first weekend of May 2010, Tunick is coming to the Quays for a series of eight naked photo shoots in the frankly cooler climes of Salford and Manchester.

Getting Mancunians to get their kit off will surely not be a problem. How to take part. But it begs the question: why here?

The answer, it seems, is closer to home than you might think.

After visiting The Lowry himself, Tunick was intrigued the paintings of LS Lowry which, he said, illustrated the vulnerability of life in a rough city landscape.

"LS Lowry's paintings depict the mass of everyday people who contributed to this almost Orwellian, industrial machine of the 20th century.

"And I was interested in how the industry has left Manchester, the popularity of his paintings, and how he has shaped the social landscape of the city he lived in.

So, when the Lowry asked me to make a work, of course, I was very excited."

Tunick added that his Salford and Manchester installations will hope to reflect Lowry's bustling crowds but in a modern setting.

"We've been trying to find some remnant of that landscape that you see in his paintings such as Industrial Scene (1953) or Coming from the Mill (1930) even though a lot of the chimneys have been demolished.

"So, the participants won't be stood in large groups or lying down but moving around in all directions against a sort of post-industrial backdrop."


In his first multiple-site installation, volunteers will be taken in heated buses to eight locations on 1 & 2 May and asked to strip off while Tunick films and photographs them for the installation.

Tunick, who has been arrested seven times in the United States for orchestrating such mass nakedness, insists his work is not about exhibitionism or eroticism.

'The individuals en masse, without their clothing and grouped together, metamorphose into a new shape,' said Tunick.

'The bodies extend into and upon the landscape like a substance. These grouped masses become abstractions that challenge or reconfigure one's views of nudity or privacy.'

Everyday People will be shown at The Lowry from 12 June - 26 September.

Naked photo shoot for art gallery
08 Mar 10 |  Manchester



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