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Page last updated at 15:28 GMT, Friday, 11 June 2010 16:28 UK
Naked Mancunians unveiled in photo exhibition at Lowry
Naked photo shoot in Concorde hangar
Volunteers were taken to eight locations across Manchester and Salford

Photographs of hundreds of naked Mancunians have been unveiled in a major new exhibition.

The nude images are the result of a photo shoot by artist Spencer Tunick who took local volunteers to locations across Manchester and Salford.

Called 'Everyday People', the installation was commissioned as part of celebrations marking the tenth anniversary of the Lowry.

The exhibition is being shown from 12 June - 26 September 2010.

Spencer Tunick on BBC Radio Manchester (Friday 11 June)

Spencer Tunick
It's incredible I can get a small percentage of the population that are a touch braver or maybe crazier than most.
Spencer Tunick, artist

How did the idea came about?

"I was invited about a year ago to do a commission.

"And rather than bring 2 - 3,000 people into one area and work nude with them, I asked the Lowry to get some double decker buses and if I could caravan the people around to different locations which is something I've never done before."

Tell us about the photo shoot...

"There were two days of working (May 1 & 2). The first day was a little bit warmer, the second day I wanted to move through the day quite quickly because of the cold.

"So, I was a little bit more on edge and tense and that could be confused as me not being as happy as I wanted to be. But I was happy - I was just too concerned for the well being of the cold, naked people!"

How do you organise cold, naked people?

"Actually, at 5am, people want to be told what to do rather than just randomly mill about!

"But it's incredible that I can get a small percentage of the population that really embraces contemporary art in the city and are a touch braver or maybe crazier than most.

"I think most people will do this but never pose for any other artist. So it's an interesting mix of people who want to be part of an artwork.

"And everyone who poses gets a print in exchange for posing."

How do you get so many volunteers to take part...

"We usually tell them Ewan McGregor might show up! He's very comfortable with his body and so if people think he's coming, they'll come en masse."

What do you want these works to say?

Naked photo shoot in Peel Park
Angel Meadow
under Dantzic Street bridge
Dantzic Street
Peel Park
The Lowry
Manchester Airport (Concorde hangar)

"These works I find are reflective of culture and entertainment as the new industry in Manchester.

"I was working with the idea of juxtaposing [the photographs] with the past works of LS Lowry which are matchstick figures, hundreds of people scurrying through industrial landscapes that he created with smokestacks and factories.

"So I figured that, now the industry has left Manchester and Salford, the new industry is culture. And culture to me is represented by the nude body."

So you reference LS Lowry in them..

"Definitely. When I saw his work, with multiples and the effect it has on the public as a populist painter, I was fascinated by that."

How do you plan these works?

"I work on it for a year, or two years, each project, thinking about what I want to do with whoever shows up and sometimes props I want to bring on.

"But the nakedness only lasts a morning or two, so the actual making of the work is a very short time. So it's maybe like a Jackson Pollock planned a year ahead of time."

It's the 'nakedness' that captures people's imagination. How do you de-sexualise your images, because you always manage that?

"All except one, I think. There's a really sexy shot in this exhibition of two double decker buses with women pushing their breasts and stomachs up against the glass windows!

"It's a beautiful work, the buses say 'Travel with courtesy' and then you have 200 women with their bodies smashed up against the glass.

"It's such a fun work and it might have been a great Led Zeppelin album cover in the seventies!"

Is it always exciting at an unveiling of one of your works?

"Yes, definitely because you're sharing it not only with the people that were nude but also they are the collaborators.

"So it's not like an American artist coming in and making a work - it's more like a collaboration between me and English citizens."

'Everyday People' is at the Lowry from 12 June - 26 September 2010.

Hundreds strip off in Lowry shoot
01 May 10 |  Manchester
Naked photo shoot for art gallery
08 Mar 10 |  Manchester
How LS Lowry inspired naked shoot
09 Mar 10 |  Arts & Culture


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