How often do you get the chance to be naked in an Art Gallery ?? by Katie Rowland

Seeing the Naked Truth nude tour advertised I thought ‘how often do you get the chance to be naked in an art gallery”. Arriving at the Crawford 20 minutes early I meet Leticia. I knew she was with the nude group as I saw her Irish Naturist Association hat on. I introduced myself and she made me feel welcome. Seeing my name on her list made me realise I was really doing this. Thinking I needed a rum and coke I went into Cashmans pub next to the Crawford Art Gallery. I got back to the gallery when all the textiles were leaving. (I got the lingo now). I must have walked with confidence as the door man gave me a nod and said ‘you must be with the group’. I felt proud nodding back saying that I was.

I have never got naked in public before never mind in an art gallery with a hundred other strangers. Everyone was chit chatting. We were brought up stairs to wait where I walked from painting to painting trying to figure out was there anyone else on their own. We were brought into a beautiful room which I think was the library. I sat on a seat. This man sat next to me and we started chatting , he was on his own too. Then another women sat next to him. I asked her was she on her own. She was, so the three of us kept each other company. I told them it was my first time doing something like this. A man spoke about a charity close to his heart which I think was a cancer charity called ‘bare to care’. When he finished talking I glanced around and saw some people were naked already. I took my shoes and socks off while still chatting to the man and women. The three of us agreed it was time to undress too. Trousers next, then knickers, then the long top and the last was the bra undone. I stood there naked and said, “well that’s it, it’s my first time”. Another man walked past and shook my hand for my bravery and said “well done”.

Leticia came into the room saying that the gallery staff hadn’t given the thumbs up yet to undress yet but that she will check. I thought to myself I was not getting dressed and then undressing again. Within a few seconds she came back to say it was ok. We were brought to the start of the Naked Truth exhibition. Here we got a group photo taken from behind.

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We were split into two groups as there were so many of us. The tour was given by a textile tour guide. He was working so couldn’t be naked. The tour was very interesting and I loved it. Every now and again I couldn’t believe where I was and that I was naked. I shouldn’t have lavished on the butter body cream that morning as the gallery was so warm the butter body cream decided to come back out under my boobs. I used the tissue I was holding to wipe under my boobs every now and again. I’m not slim. Some people had perfect figures, others too thin, some too big. A few in their 20’s, some in their 30’s and all ages after that. Many in their 70’s and 80’s. People with friends, on their own, couples, pregnant ladies. There were all sorts there.

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I loved all the naked bodies looking at naked bodied art work. I felt so liberated. A place that we gathered in earlier had a big window from the ceiling to the floor. Below I could see into Boots pharmacy and down onto Half Moon Street. I naturally thought the window was tinted as all the people in Boots and all the people on the street didn’t take any notice of us. Later as a few of us talked near this window. I could see the shop assistants of Boots looking up at us. I waved and they waved back. The window wasn’t tinted !!! More of us gathered to wave down at them ,as they gathered more of their work colleagues to see us. Every new work colleague they brought to see us made us laugh at their reactions. They was a lot of laughing and waving. For two hours I walked around naked in an art gallery , then it was time to get dressed.I would have loved to have stayed naked longer.

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Now , I love looking at my friends and familys’ reaction when I tell them what I did. Each saying the same thing. “Nothing on, not even your knickers”. I did some thing not many people can ever do. I’m so proud of myself. I’ll be looking forward to more meetings like this.

 

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