NAKED CHATS at the VAULT Festival
“Sitting in an entirely clothed audience, it’s initially bizarre to be gathered round four very comfortably naked people”
In the summer just gone there were most definitely days, when even the thinnest nighty clung to me, wet with sweat, that I thought how great it would be if society would just let loose and I could walk down the street naked. But on this particularly chilly February day, it’s incredibly impressive that the Body Love Sketch Club has convinced anyone to even take off their woolly hats, let alone their underwear.
Provided with a sheaf of paper, a pencil and some charcoal, the audience is invited to draw our hosts Rosy Pendlebaby and Ruby Rare, as well as Social Psychologist, Professor Keon West, and Artist, Lily Holder, as they chat about nudity within society and its benefits, all while posing naked.
Sitting in an entirely clothed audience, it’s initially bizarre to be gathered round four very comfortably naked people, but the act of drawing whilst listening eases the audience’s awkwardness, and soon it feels totally normal. Rather than trying uncomfortably to work out where to rest our gaze, we’re busy trying to work out proportions, concentrating on the curve of the pencil line rather than the curve of a buttock.
And so when, in the last ten minutes, the audience is invited to join them on stage, it’s unsurprising that there are too many volunteers. Why not? Why don’t we all just get naked? Except that it is still quite cold, so I think I’ll pass on this occasion.
Pendlebaby and Rare are clearly dab hands at creating a safe and fun space, racing their guests to get their kit off, and joking about getting cramp in long poses. Their first question for their guests and themselves: How are you feeling in your body today? “Great! I just had a pizza for lunch!”, Lily Holder announces. It’s lovely and comforting to see people naked and not trying; no-one is holding in their stomach or attempting to be especially sexy. They’re just themselves, but…naked.
Having researched extensively on the subject, Professor Keon West has some very interesting insights into the potential benefits of society allowing for a more liberated view of clothing. When asked what he thinks would best encourage a naked utopia, he suggests a universal basic income, because, he believes, if everyone had everything they needed, and a little extra, they would feel free to do what they really wanted: go Winnie the Pooh with a top and no bottoms, wear a big scarf and nothing else. No-one would care.
Regardless of whether you believe everyone should be naked all the time, or whether you just think it would be nice if everyone were more accepting of their own bodies, the Body Love Sketch Club provides a haven and plenty of food for thought, along with whatever masterpieces you created during the session. This is the only Naked Chat booked for the VAULT Festival, but Pendlebaby and Rare host regular online and in-person events if you fancy a doodle and a chat about nudity, and maybe getting naked yourself.
Reviewed on 26th February 2023
by Miriam Sallon
More VAULT Festival reviews:
Caceroleo | ★★★★ | January 2023
Cybil Service | ★★★★ | January 2023
Butchered | ★★★★ | January 2023
Intruder | ★★★★ | January 2023
Thirsty | ★★★★★ | February 2023
Kings of the Clubs | ★★★ | February 2023
Gay Witch Sex Cult | ★★★★★ | February 2023
Love In | ★★★★ | February 2023
Patient 4620 | ★★★ | February 2023
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