I had the great please on Tuesday morning of participating in the Spencer Tunick installation. I dragged myself out of bed at 2.30am, still bleary eyed, and really wondered "am I going to be able to do this?" I've followed Tunick for the last few years, especially his UK installations, so when I heard he was coming to Ireland, I immediately jumped up for it and filled out the form.
Getting out of bed at 2.30am is one thing, but getting up out of bed to head out into the great unknown of taking your clothes off for a photo is another. Cynics on boards.ie jeered that it would never happen, Cork is too small, it would be cancelled, down with that kinda thing. But as soon as I'd overcome having forgotten my driving licence and not bringing an umbrella I realised that a large crowd were arriving in Blarney. In the end 1100 people showed up.
Anyway I arrived into the holding area where all the participants were waiting and popped myself under what I thought would be a nice quiet tree, only to find myself right beside Ray D'Arcy of Today FM. Ray, I have to say, is a lovely, down to earth kind of guy who was braver than most of his RTE colleagues in coming out. Lots of nutters of course milled around but on the whole most people were ordinary everyday people like you'd meet in a queue at an airport or behind the til at Supervalu.
There seemed to be an eternity while they got everything ready and waited for dawn. Meanwhile the participants all mingled and got to know each other. Lots of people were quite nervous. Unlike myself, many had not even been to a nudist beach never mind baring all for a photo. Anyway I ran into lots of people I knew. I recall causually chatting with some friends when we were given the word to strip, which was dead funny as they then slagged me for not getting my kit off quick enough!
Anyway we did a few shots in the field outside the castle for what seemed like an age before moving behind teh bushes and this time posing with red and white roses. This involved lying in the grass and I have to say with the freezing Irish dawn weather I didn't mind the bodyheat around me. Lying in the grass actually seemed warmer than standing in it! It was all kinda pleasnt, if bloody cold.
Anwyay we got our clothes on again and this time Spencer took the ladies off for another shot in the rockery at the castle. This was, I thought, a particularly beautiful shot. He went on after to photo the guys in the stream outside the castle, by which time I was on my way home. Apparently a smaller group of 50 hung on and got photographed kissing the Blarney stone, which I find particularly amusing.
All in all it was a great experience with a lovely cameraderie and hopefully we'll get to see the shots soon enough.