|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.
Photo © Jamain Brigitha for
Dream Amsterdam Foundation
Tip Toe Through The Tulips - Big Bad Jane:
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.
Photo © Kris Rotsaert
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.
|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.||
|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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