Naked and Vulnerable photography project, 2022-ongoing
The beauty of the nude form – in particular, the nude female form – continues to be a primary focus of contemporary ad campaigns, pop culture, and art. The project, in contrast, uses nudity to explore the infinite complexities of the human condition – of beauty and of community – by making the focus of its portraits the interaction between individuals, rather than the individuals themselves.
Naked and Vulnerable finds its roots in the symbiosis of nature, as well as in the power of collective vulnerability, such as is evidenced by the LGBTQIA+ community and necessitated by the queer experience. In nature, the true beauty of a tree lies not in the tree itself, but in the interplay between it and the vines wrapped around it; between its roots and the grasses which swallow them; between its fruits and the birds who travel many miles there to feast.
Togetherness is a powerful, primal, often subversive, and always fundamental part of life. By removing sexuality and convention from nudity – examining instead the myriad ways in which human bodies can be interwoven – the project shows that there is joy to be found in pure, unbridled comfort. Comfort in one’s own flesh; comfort in the intimacy of a lover; comfort in the embrace of strangers. Even when the emotions explored through touch include sorrow, sadness and fear, the project boldly shows that beauty exists there all the same. No matter how challenging the human experience may be, when undertaken together, it is strikingly, simply, beautiful.
In the photographs collected here, the viewer is encouraged to consider all of the different ways in which human touch, vulnerability, and body interplay; as well as the stories which these confluences of skin may tell. Who are we when our shields are lowered? Our barriers broken down? Who are we when we go from being alone to being part of a greater whole? These are the questions which the project – inspired by the desexualisation of the nude, and an exploration of sensuality across the spectrum of identity and age – asks of you.
The project invites you to rejoice in the human form, whatever shape it may take; in the things left unsaid; and in the singular necessity of togetherness.