Woman bares all for detained artist
Published 02/05/2011 | 20:08
A yoga teacher gave visitors at one of London's best-known art galleries a naked surprise as she dropped her clothes in support of a detained Chinese artist.
Charlotte Eaton, 32, decided to walk naked across missing artist Ai Weiwei's "landscape of sunflower seeds" after being inspired by his work when she first visited the exhibition on Wednesday.
Ms Eaton, from north-west London, threw caution to the wind as she undressed at Ai's Sunflower Seeds exhibition at London's Tate Modern on Monday afternoon.
Ai, an internationally famed avant-garde artist, who is also an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, was last seen in police custody in early April.
The Chinese government confirmed that it had detained Ai and was investigating him for economic crimes.
After being captivated by Ai's exhibition, Ms Eaton emailed Tate Modern to request the opportunity to be photographed naked among the seeds as a way of reflecting the "playfulness" of the artwork and to give the silenced artist a voice, she said.
Ms Eaton, a laughter yoga teacher who runs her own business, had painted a sunflower and the words 'thank you Ai Weiwei' and 'freedom' on her body.
"I didn't want to be removed by security so didn't stay long. I heard someone shout 'bravo', which was very nice," she said.
She said her show of support was witnessed by around 40 bystanders who were visiting the exhibition. She said that she was watched by Tate Modern staff members and security but no-one stopped her.
"No action was taken against me by security guards, and a member of the Tate's press smiled at me as I winked at her and left."