In this section we will be looking at the impact nudity has had on various forms of art, cultural perceptions of nudity and its use in the media, and talking to artists about their reasons for including nudity in their projects. We will be covering as wide a cross-section of art as possible from the traditional to the very modern, and looking at it from outside the projects as well as inside.
The idea for this piece came about when I was lecturing to a small group of people about what it was like to be a writer. I told them about the long hours, the low pay, the bad reviews and the good, and then someone asked me what it actually felt like when someone read my work for the first time. I thought about that for a moment, and then said that it was like being naked in front of them, standing there for them to walk all around you, analyse your body, and then start to tell you what they thought about all its wrinkles and flabby bits whilst you have no opportunity to respond or hide.
That made them think, and a few of them looked like they were about to give up writing for good, so I explained a bit further. Writing comes from inside, I told them. It comes from a part of you that does not normally see the light of day. When you write, you expose your thoughts, your optinions, your hidden desires in a way that we rarely do in modern society. Even when you try to hide it, things get out, and a reader can get to know a lot more about a writer through their work than that writer would ever believe.
They liked that explanation and relaxed a bit, so I carried on with the lecture. But when I got home I started to think about how to represent that photographically, and so I came up with the idea for this photograph.
The image on the left is me, unedited, unretouched, just me. The writing projected onto me is a page from my book "Blood Changes, in a digital version of my handwriting. It was a particularly difficult scene to write as I was trying to make it hard-hitting and personal without diving into sensationalism, and I wrestled with it for ages before finally being happy with the result. So that side of the piece shows me, the writer, with my thoughts in disarray as I struggle to find the right words to do my character and my audience justice.
The image on the right is a model called Bex, with exactly the same passage projected onto her. This time, however, it is the final version exactly as it appeared in the paperback, and all the rough edges have been removed. Her serene elegance is in direct contrast to my rough and unkempt aspect, and shows how audiences often fail to realise the difficulties the writer went through to create something that they were able to read in just a few minutes.
The two images were shot at different times and in different locations, but the merger of the two photographs into a single piece achieves exactly what I was aiming to portray.
"From Writer to Reader", by Graham Guy