Five years ago, Australian Photographers Claire Reynolds and Chrissie Hall became friends over a mutual love of taking pictures and being in the nude. They recently put out their first book together, Pure And Dirty, which is an intertwining of both those things. The book documents a road trip into the outback with eight different cameras and not very many clothes. Describing it as “a wild journey into sexuality and the Australian bush,” the pair have drawn praise from people like Tracy Moffatt and Terry Richardson. We asked them if they’d sit for an phone interview and they graciously accepted. Naked.
VICE: So you guys are nude at the moment, right?
Chrissie: Yes we definitely are sitting here right now in the nude talking to you and we can send you a picture to verify.
That’s a first for us. At least we think it is. Do you want to talk about the nude thing for a bit?
Claire: With Chrissie and I, it’s a completely platonic relationship but we just feel more comfortable hanging out naked and taking photographs. I guess we’re each other’s muse. When we heard we’d be doing an interview with VICE, we thought hey, let’s take our clothes off and do it like we did in the book.
Would you still shoot in the nude if you both weren’t babes?
Chrissie: Why not? Being naked is so much fun, you just have to be confident
Claire: That’s what Pure And Dirty is all about- getting raw and real in life.
Will you still shoot in the nude when you’re wrinkly old ladies?
Chrissie: In 2050, we can guarantee we will be displaying the forces of gravity on the female body for the public, whether they like it or not.
Claire: The pictures may not be as public though, and maybe not as pretty, but beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. We had a naked auction to raise money for the book and had around 15 people nude standing as our easels. The oldest was 74 and he absolutely rocked it. There were around 300 people there.
What are some downsides to being naked in the bush?
Claire: Sometimes it’s a little tricky getting naked in the bush. There’s always bugs and insects and it’s a worry if they crawl up somewhere you wouldn’t want them to. I was lying in the grass naked being photographed by Chrissie and was stung by a nasty insect in a really uncomfortable place. That hurt!
Ouch! Over the course of the book, the shots kind of escalate, in terms of being risqué or whatever. It starts out pretty innocent, but by day six there are some weird shots involving a banana. What do you think would have happened on Day 20?
Claire: Wowsers, Day 20… I can only imagine that the bananas may have been substituted and Chrissie and I would be exhausted from all that running around and nudity.
How about you Chrissie?
Chrissie: Alien abduction. Followed by the universe’s first inter-planetary photo shoot, with little green Martians getting all Pure and Dirty. As far risqué/ escalating/whatever, those Martians have been known to turn cattle inside out….so….
What's it like driving naked, and is it legal?
Chrissie: I’m not sure if it’s legal or not. It’s a bit of a thrill and the truckies seem to like it.
Isn't it weird how people have different words for vagina? Like, Americans say "pussy", which is kind of gross. And “snatch.” As humans who are comfortable with their bodies, what word do you use for vaginas, penises etc?
Chrissie: This is the best question I’ve ever had to answer for an interview. “Fun bits” is my general reference term for all the hard and soft, in and out parts of the body. Vagina is usually “Mut” (named after my friend, she knows who she is hahahaha). “Pussoir” (for when I’m feeling French or eating a baguette), “Beef Curtains” (when it’s naughty) but “Bush” is making a comeback due to the book. Penis is “dick” or “one-eyed trouser snake.” We know it’s all juvenile, but you don’t make a book like ours without finding humour in the bits we’ve all got.
How about you, Claire? What do you call man and lady bits?
Claire: Cats and chooks are such great animals, growing up on a farm we had both and it was my job to feed them. I don’t know how they managed to link themselves to our precious bodily organs. My word for vagina is either “vag” or “verjuts.” I call Penises “love muscle.”
Great. You mentioned a picture before...
Pure and Dirty by Claire Reynolds and Chrissie Hall, rrp: $65. Available at selected book stores and online at www.pureanddirty.com