Artist Ciara Patricia Langan is championing pro-social nudity and body positivity with her project “Coastal Bodies."

Ciara Patricia Langan, an artist native to Co Waterford, has put a call out for people to attend her upcoming photoshoot for Coastal Bodies, her ongoing project that aims to document a modern Ireland that embraces pro-social nudity and champions body positivity.

The event, organized in conjunction with the Irish Naturist Association, is scheduled for 9 am this Sunday, August 16 at a beach in Co Kerry - exact details will be released to confirmed attendees via email.

Attendees must register ahead of time by emailing CoastalBodies2020 [at] gmail.com. Those attending are asked to bring good walking shoes, warm clothing, something to snack on, a bathrobe for in between shoots, and “your sense of joy and fun!”

Sunday’s event in Co Kerry will be the third installment Langan's Coastal Bodies project, which has taken on new meaning since the pandemic.

Langan tells IrishCentral: “When I formulated the plan for Coastal Bodies, I had no idea how important it would become as people here in Ireland have really pulled together to help keep COVID-19 in low enough numbers.

“The feeling of care and consideration for fellow human beings is just magnificent to see during this global pandemic.

“These last few months have been hard of the psyche of the Irish as we are generally a friendly outgoing kinda bunch. 

“After the countrywide lockdown released us to be with our friends and families again, the Coastal Bodies tour was the perfect way to celebrate our beautiful bodies, every shape and colour and size, in outdoor gatherings with social distancing being adhered to.

“We are still wearing masks indoors in public settings, but outdoors we can be ourselves more, naturally,” Langan says.

“It is in this crisis of modernity that the Irish as a community living on an island have really triumphed.”

Last October, months before COVID had arrived in Ireland, Langan launched a GoFundMe to help support her vision and project. On it, she wrote: “I wish to develop a body of work that documents a modern Ireland, embraces pro-social nudity and champions body positivity. 

“I have been involved in body painting across Ireland as a pro-social creative movement in contemporary Irish art. The act itself proves to be empowering as does pro social nonsexual nudity.

“The people who will benefit include the people of the island of Ireland that participate in Coastal bodies and also those who see the documentation.

“The funds will be used to connect with every coastal county of Ireland initially, and making powerful images of a modern Ireland.

“I have started in my home County of Waterford, and plan to take a journey around the coast, documenting our beautiful coastline in a mass installation celebrating the liberty and freedom bestowed to us as an Irish people in agreement to the codes set out by the European bill of Human Rights. 

“As a working artist not yet funded, despite numerous applications, I need this funding to buy a computer capable of processing the images I will generate with the project. Your support ensures this project happens. This funding will ensure high-quality images can be made, and I can move onto the next problem, which is transport and accommodation.”

What is Naturism?

According to the Irish Naturist Association (INA), which was founded in 1963 and is supporting Langan’s Coastal Bodies project, naturism is “all about being naked, when it is appropriate, with other people in a nonsexual environment. 

“The International Naturist Federation, which represents millions of naturists all over the world, defines naturism as ‘a way of life in harmony with nature characterized by the practice of communal nudity with the intention of encouraging self-respect, respect for others and for the environment.’

“Naturism has mental and physical benefits such as body acceptance regardless of size, shape, and age.”

Regarding the legality of naturism in Ireland, the INA says that while laws are evolving, “for an offense to be committed, the person exposing him/herself must intend to cause fear, distress or alarm to another person.”

The first rule of naturism, the INA says, is “do not offend. We are more vulnerable when we are naked so don’t do anything to make other naturists feel uncomfortable.”

In clarifying the slight difference between nudists and naturists, the INA explains that both are essentially the same thought naturists are “often extended to include more eco-conscious matters.”

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