Artists, demonstrators shed their clothes at Saanich's Gyro Park

Participants bare all at Cadboro Bay park to illustrate vulnerability

Seven artists and demonstrators shed their clothes on a Saanich beach Sunday, in recognition of the new year and to underscore the vulnerability of humans in a dangerous time.

The seven - who ranged from buck naked to fully clothed - stood near Gyro Park at the Cadboro Bay beach.

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They posed with letters of the alphabet written in black acrylic paint on their bare skin and held signs with letters on them.

Together, the group stood shoulder to shoulder to spell the word vulnerable.

After posing to display that word, they rearranged themselves to spell rebel, rave, brave, luv, real and bare.

The Human Body Project is the brainchild of Tasha Diamant, a Victoria mom, artist and college professor who wants to demonstrate to others that we are "extremely vulnerable on this planet."

Diamant has been doing protest-inspired art and artistic protests for about five years indoors - appearing at the Fringe Festival, for example, to mixed reviews.

She organizes participation through social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

She chose the beach, where her expectation was borne out that people would politely watch - or not.

"This is a safe place," Diamant said.

The next nude exhibit/ protest will be in a more high-traffic pedestrian or vehicle area, she said.

Passersby Meriah Drabkin, Abbey Piazza and Shayla Baumeler, all 16year-old students at St. Michaels University School, didn't know what to make of the artistic protest but said it looked cool.

Drabkin thought the nudity added another level of "Zen" to an already peaceful New Year's morning, as the sun shone over the water and snow-capped mountains, while waves lapped onto the beach.

Diamant said she's a serious person and not comfortable with being nude in public, but she feels a sense of urgency to share her message.

"The way we are living right now is exactly the recipe for destruction."

For information, go to humanbodyproject.com.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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