Schermerhorn, The Netherlands
April 15, 2007


The first installation for Dream Amsterdam was, in fact, a secret installation open only to members of our sister site, the Spencer Tunick Forum. Limited to 150 participants, the installation took place in Schermerhorn, Netherlands in the early hours of April 15. The invitation to the installation was posted on the forum by Jamain Brigitha, the mastermind behind Dream Amsterdam and its curator.

Four  setups took place. One in which Spencer asked participants to spread out over a tulip field facing away from the camera formed the basis for the official Spencer Tunick Dream Amsterdam poster. Other setups included participants laying down in the field with a raised arm, a setup with people kneeling in two parallel rows with both arms raised and one with people laying on the grass in an X formation with a windmill in the background.
 
 

In the tulip fields 
Photo © Jamain Brigitha for 
Dream Amsterdam Foundation

Tip Toe Through The Tulips  - Big Bad Jane:

Waiting at the bus stop by the Q-Park 
Photo © Albert4077
As a chef I quite often have jobs that require me to get up very early in the morning, but there are very few events in my personal life that will motivate me to get moving at 5.30am.

However when the call went out for some volunteers to do a small installation on 15th April for Spencer Tunick in Amsterdam, I didnít need to be encouraged to join in. In fact I got up at 5.30hrs twice, once to get the day coach to Amsterdam and then again the next day for the shoot.

Considering that Amsterdam and Newcastle appear to be approximately the same distance from London, the difference in the times to get to these cities is a shame. From my time living in Holland I know that the 11 to 12hr coach journeys are a bit of a bore but as I decided to go so last minute, I didnít want to pay the asked prices to fly. Fortunately I managed to find a room in the Holiday Inn at a very cheap price in a Ďhere today, gone tomorrowí website deal which was worth it.

On the appointed day I woke up in my characterless room at the crack of dawn. I couldnít get out of it fast enough. Iím still wondering how the Holiday Inn can justify the difference in the price that I paid, and my friend D paid for a virtually identical room. She missed the special deal I got and her room cost £50 more than mine - the only extras she appeared to have were a pot plant, tea and coffee making facilities, and a Toblerone!

My mother believes that I am a little psychic and she has been proved right. I had been saying on The Spencer Tunick Experience Forum that I thought we would be tip toeing through the tulips and that is exactly how it was! The fear of damaging the flowers and the wear and tear on our feet meant that we were indeed on tiptoe. My knees took some punishment too, when we were asked to kneel down with our arms in the air. Oh the pain! I do know that most of Spencerís installations involve some discomfort to the models, and as someone was saying to me, one a week would be an excellent keep fit class.

Spencer gives instructions
Photo © Kris Rotsaert
Jamain Brigitha (right)
with staff member
Photo © Albert4077
A windmill provided another suitable backdrop for a photograph. Due to the fact that cows had been kept in the area, and the area raked over, we continued to walk on tiptoe to no avail. To our horror we were asked to lie down, and I think every person there was thankful it had not been raining heavily - the ground was fairly dried out with only a bit of morning dew. Before I got on the night bus back to London, I thought out of consideration to my fellow passengers Iíd better take a shower, and found that the seven Euro I spent doing this at Centraal Station was worth it.

People tell me I'm crazy for doing this. I've been asked if I'm kinky. Possibly I am. I can also be lazy and can sometimes... let myself go a bit. Ten days' notice wasn't enough to slim to a size eight, but a couple of nights before I left I spent some time disolving, plucking, shaving and dyeing hair on various parts of my body. My hair was dark brown with a red streak at the front, but remembering models that stood out being asked to go to the back in previous shoots I'd been at, I changed it to a dark auburn and will keep it that way for the second installation in June.

Iíll be back in Amsterdam then, however I have to say out of all the ones I have been to, this small installation was the nicest of all. It will be hard for any future event to top it, as it was a beautiful day and everything was so organised that it was a pleasure to be there. Thanks to Jamain for arranging this for us, see you soon.

Frankvn writes:
I left Antwerp at about 4 AM and arrived more than an hour too early in Amsterdam, but since you never know how long it will take you exacly I thought "better safe than sorry". After about 40 minutes the first people started to show up and at exactly 6.45 AM three buses drove down the car park to pick up the participants. The buses waited a little while more for some more people to show up,  my rough guess is that there where about 100 of us, many of whom had already participated in previous installations (Belgians, British, Germans,...) but also some first timers from Holland. 
Preparing for the windmill setup - Photo © Opa
After about half an hour's drive through the fields and next to the waters north of Amsterdam we arrived at our destination: a field full of tulips surrounded by some windmills. This was to be the scenery of today's installation. We got  instructions to be very careful with the flowers because they represent the farmers' yearly income, and the organisation was to pay for all damages. 

Spencer greeted us and thanked us for coming. Although he was not feeling very well he seemed to be in quite a good mood. Maybe it's because it was only an installation with a limited number of participants. I guess it must be easier to direct a small group of about a hunderd than a large crowd of 2000 or more people. He explained the different setups he had in mind and then he told us to take our clothes off. The shooting was about to start. It was still a little chilly in the beginning but as the shooting went on the sun came through, and by the end we feld sorry it was already over. With this sort of weather we could have stayed in that field the entire day. Summerised, I think I can say it was a glorious day, beautifull setting, nice weather, all people seemed to be in a good mood. 


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