Post by Monica Tan in The Guardian
“Skyclad” is a term used by naturists to describe going nude. A wonderful word that conjures peeling back the blue heavens and wrapping it around one’s shoulders, as if it were a cloak.
Naturists are not the same as exhibitionists – the latter being motivated by titillation, a desire to be seen; whereas the former simply feel inhibited by clothing and in discarding it bring themselves closer to nature. With decades of exposure to sun, wind and rain, older naturists are sometimes identifiable by their leathery complexion and golden brown colour (sans tan line) – as I discovered when I took a tour of the National Gallery of Australia last week, completely nude, along with 49 other art lovers.
It is easy to write off a nude art tour as gimmicky; in fact, the experience was quite profound. To illustrate, though our skin does not see, would your experience in an art gallery be different if you were to wear a ski mask? There is some constriction there. And to remove the ski mask, to remove one’s clothing, is a physical form of liberation.