Australian Artists Defend 'Naked Kids' Exhibition

Police shut down Bill Henson’s installation at a Sydney gallery before it even began due to complaints about frontal nudity in the photos of 12 and 13-year-olds, according to a Sky News report.

Read here

The former director of Canberra’s National Gallery of Australia, Betty Churcher, described Mr Henson’s work as “breathtakingly beautiful” and said there was no suggestion of pornography in the photos.

“In this day and age, we are going far too far in the wrong direction of censorship,” she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“Will we end up being so censored that there’s nothing left for us to contemplate?”

This is really disturbing.

Can we have a link to the pictures themselves? I have to admit that I am very leery about pictures of nude, underage models but I would like to see the actual photos before I make a judgment about them.:shrug:

It is significant that many Victorian photographers photographed nude children. The notion was that they expressed the innocence of Adam before the Fall.

There is, at Iowa State University a sculpture called “The Wedding Ring.” It celebrates the family, and is in the form of a large wedding ring, with three nude children as the jewels in the ring.
museums.iastate.edu/AOCFactSheetsPDF/marragering.pdf

It was created in the 1930s. I wonder if anyone would dare to do it today. The world has changed. I don’t think that abuse is more common now than then, but I do think we are more aware of it and more on guard against it, for which I thank God.

What parent lets their 12 or 13 year get photographed naked? A child is not even at an age they can legally consent to such pictures. How could this even be allowed as a public display? Thankfully it was shut down. I can’t imagine any photographs of full frontal nude pictures of naked children just entering puberty being appropriate

I have seen one of Henson’s photographs mentioned in the story. It was nothing I’d want my daughter in, but it was far from pornographic or abusive.

In the US, Andrew Wyeth had a similar sort of thing, in the “Helga pictures”, some of which were nudes done when his model was 14.

Again, nothing I’d want my daughter in, but not pornographic or abusive.

When my son was around one, I wanted to take a picture of his little bare butt. He had the cutest little baby butt.:stuck_out_tongue: But I had a couple of friends tell me that I could be turned into CPS for doing so. I have no idea if this was true but it stopped me from taking the pictures.:blush: Oddly enough my step grandmother has beautiful black and white photos of my stepfather as a very little infant, that were taken by a professional in the 1940’s. He is nude and laying on his belly. The photos are beautiful and very cute. We, as a society, have changed what we see as innocent.

I do think that we are more aware of child sexual abuse and the harm that it does children. My step grandmother would have been horrified to think that anyone would view her son’s baby photos as sexual.:frowning:

If a mom can’t take an innocent picture of her child’s butt without fear of some overzealous person reporting her then an artists shouldn’t get a free pass because he considers his work art. Whatever laws apply to the average person has to apply to the artists as well.

Also, I have my doubts as to the ability of a 12 year old to be able to comprehend having nude shots of oneself shown to the world. This is a kid who would have his/her classmates possibily go through the exhibition. Can you imagine how embarrasing that would be or the teasing this poor child would get?

Society has gone completely crazy, when people confuse what you were thinking with child abuse.

But that’s how it is, I guess. We seem to have lurched from ignoring the problem to finding it in places it doesn’t exist.

You note more than once here that it is “nothing I’d want my daughter in” that kind of leads me to thought that this was wrong. I don’t care what the intentions is “pornographic or abusive” it will become that for someone who has a thing for little girls.

In defence of the majority of Australians, can I please point out that
[LIST]
*]the exhibition of these photographs was closed down before it had even opened,
*]the officers closing it down were extra cautious and even blacked out the windows of the gallery so that no-one could see inside to see the photos,
*]the artist and parents of the children involved are being questioned, and
our Prime Minister has roundly condemned the whole exhibition.[/LIST]

We’re not all perverts here, thank God!

You note more than once here that it is “nothing I’d want my daughter in” that kind of leads me to thought that this was wrong. I don’t care what the intentions is “pornographic or abusive” it will become that for someone who has a thing for little girls.

Exactly. It’s not that the artist’s intentions were evil, or that the child was exploited. It is that such a thing will invariably be perverted by a pedophile to evil purposes.

And that is why it shouldn’t be. A pity, but that’s how it is.

originally posted by deb 1
Oddly enough my step grandmother has beautiful black and white photos of my stepfather as a very little infant, that were taken by a professional in the 1940’s. He is nude and laying on his belly. The photos are beautiful and very cute. We, as a society, have changed what we see as innocent.

I took pictures of a few of my children when they were about 1 month old laying on their bellies naked and I possibly caught one in their baby pool with their butt hanging out but they were indeed innocent pictures of a mother’s love for the innocence and beauty of that infant child.I would never have taken a frontal picture of my newborn child.

Sadly today there are those who would pervert the pictures of a baby butt. As we live in a sick world we all pay the price. They did the right thing by shutting down this exhibit.:thumbsup:

I hope you don’t think I was insinuating that? I would never make that type of statements about Australians! I love them! Perverts come from all over the world and will go to all points of the world to fulfill their perversion.

My sister took a picture of my niece when she was about 5 months old, she was laying on her belly and her cute little bottom was showing… The place that developed the picture blured out her little bottom. It was crazy.

I understand what you are saying. It is about going after the true criminals.

I read about this.

I think there is a great difference between cute pictures of babies with their bottoms showing…and nude pictures for 13-14 year olds.

If a baby streaks across the room in his birthday suit…it’s cute.

I can’t imagine it being “cute” for a 13 year old to do the same thing.

Sooooo true!

That’s definitely exploitation far as I’m concerned. Both the “artist” and the parents belong in jail. In no shape or form are nude photos of children any kind of art.

No, just wanted to take the opportunity to provide a little more information about subsequent events is all.

Both the “artist” and the parents belong in jail. In no shape or form are nude photos of children any kind of art

Wha? :eek: That’s taking it way too far. As has already been pointed out, Victorian era photographers saw no problem with this kind of thing, and paedophiles were certainly roaming the streets then! While this is not the type of exhibit I would personally want to go see, that doesn’t meant that anyone who would is automatically a paedophile. We’ve gone way overboard with this whole thing; it’s becoming a witch hunt.

Wow. This is very disturbing. How could anyone possibly want to look at photos of a naked child? :eek::shrug::confused::mad:

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