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  • Ray Monde

What's the difference between naked and nude?

Nude means simply wearing no clothes.


Naked can mean without clothes. It can also describe an object without a covering (think a naked lightbulb). It can mean exposed to harm; unprotected or vulnerable. It can also mean undisguised when referring to feelings or behaviour (think naked truth).


Art critic John Berger, in Ways of Seeing, argues that nudity means to show off one’s body in a sexual way to attract attention and be open to the judgment of others, while nakedness means to be one’s true self without care for how others judge his/her body.


Caught with your pants down?

Mental Floss describes it this way. Naked implies that a person is unprotected or vulnerable. Nude, on the other hand, means one thing: unclothed.


If you drop your pants for a tasteful painting done by an artist, then you’re nude. If a bunch of paparazzi suddenly burst in through the studio door and take your picture without permission, you are suddenly naked.



Can you win a prize for being naked and nude?

The biennial Naked & Nude Art Prize is a prestigious national event on the Australian arts calendar.


Manning Regional Art Gallery says Naked & Nude refers to two things: firstly the great tradition of the Nude: a person who is bare with no covering or decoration. Secondly, a wider definition: something that is revealed, laid bare, unmasked or vulnerable.


In an exciting postscript to this post, my artwork, Down the Wombat Hole, is a finalist in this year’s Naked & Nude art prize. It’s particularly important to me because I grew up in the Manning Valley on Biripi Country and it feels like something of a home coming.

Down the Wombat Hole is in part reference to Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole, where we are transported into a wonderfully, troublingly, surreal state. In that sense, my queerness has always felt out of context in a rural landscape, where I’ve felt exposed, naked, transparent to the world around me. Yet, growing up on a farm in Burrell Creek and going to school in Wingham, not far from here, I was contradictorily embraced, a beloved curiosity. Influenced by both Policeman in Wombat Hole by Sidney Nolan and the inverted figures by Georg Baselitz, is the tumbling man seeking escape or reunition? Ray Monde, Artist Statement, Naked & Nude Art Prize

The exhibition opens on 2 September and runs through to October 15 at Manning Regional Art Gallery.

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