Some 2,500 people stripped to their clothes on Saturday to pose for American photographer Spencer Tunick at Sydney’s Bondi Beach in an effort to raise awareness of skin cancer.
Tunick, known for staging mass nude photo shoots at global landmarks, used a megaphone to direct attendees into various poses on the beach before many went skinny dipping in the ocean.
The New York-based artist collaborated with a charity on the nude art installation in a bid to raise awareness of melanoma, the fourth most common form of cancer in Australia.
The Australian federal government estimates that 17,756 new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in Australia this year, and 1,281 Australians will die from the disease.
Tunick’s Instagram post explained that the participants had gathered in nothing more than their skin, “watching the first rays of light slip over the Bondi Beach skyline, standing with respectful strength, honoring all those who have died or struggled with our ‘national’ cancer’, knowing that we will be the generation to stop it.”
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The photographer further expanded on his intentions in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world. Each year, more than 1.3 million people are diagnosed with it. It kills more than 125,000. Unfortunately, these deaths are projected to increase by 20% in the coming years unless we do big, brave things to stop it,” he explained. “Hopefully, my recent photographs including many skin cancer survivors will remind people of the fragility of life and the importance of skin checks.”
Tunick has also been personally affected by the disease, explaining that a family member recently had melanoma removed and caught it in time.
One participant, Robyn Lindner, said she overcame her nerves to strip down for the shoot, which organizers say involved 2,500 people.
“I was secretly terrified (and) last night I have to confess I was thinking, ‘What have I done?’ But it was great, everyone had such a good vibe, everyone was very respectful and he felt like a lot of fun,” Lindner said.
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Tunick last directed a mass shoot in Sydney in 2010, when 5,200 Australians posed nude at the Sydney Opera House.
When asked what his next project is, Tunick explained that he’s trying to find a way to do a massive group of nudes in Asia.
“Every time a museum in Asia approaches the local government with one of my projects, they turn it down. I’ve been turned down in South Korea, Taiwan and Shanghai, China,” Tunick explained.
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He suggested, “Maybe a remote island off the coast of Japan?”
Reuters contributed to this report.