The Naked Self

Photo: Sarah Walker


2018: presented by Arts House, Season 1

2016: presented by Arts House, Festival of Live Art

2014-15: commissioned and developed by Arts House via the Australia Council-funded Digilab project, concept by Tanya Dickson and Michele Lee

Creative team

Presentation – Festival of Live Art and Arts House, Season 1, 2018

Lead artists Tanya Dickson and Michele Lee

Writer Michele Lee

Director Tanya Dickson

Production designer Matthew Adey

Sound designer Russell Goldsmith

System designer Steve Berrick

Voice-over Alice Ansara (Festival of Live Art) and Jessica Tanner (Arts House, Season 1, 2018)

Video and images Sarah Walker

Logo designer Kim Daly

Development – Arts House

Led by Michele Lee and Tanya Dickson

With development input from Matthew Adey, Russell Goldsmith and Steve Berrick



Live art


There could be thousands of photos of you online. How many really show who you are and how you feel about yourself? In the safety of your own private booth, while undressed, a voice will lead you to examine yourself as you may never have before. Here, you’ll create a one-off, audio-only self-portrait. An immersive blend of both confessional and digital culture, The Naked Self is a chance to view yourself from a special and unique perspective.

The Naked Self was commissioned as part of In Your Hands – a new series of artworks and installations that invite audiences to create experiences mediated through hand-held technology. In Your Hands was commissioned by Arts House through the Australia Council’s New Digital Theatre Initiative.


We’re part of the festival highlights mentioned in this four-star The Age/Sydney Morning Herald review My revealing night of naked theatre.

No experience of The Naked Self by Tanya Dickson and Michele Lee can be the same. Book in a time when you arrive. With a tablet and earphones, participants listen to their choice of audio portraits by past participants. Then it’s time to go into a private, soundproof booth to undress, look in a full-length mirror and record – audio only – your answer to a question about your naked body.

We’re one of the compelling works discussed in The Guardian review Nudity and confessions on the outer edge of experimental theatre.

At the Festival of Live Art (Fola), a work called The Naked Self by Tanya Dickson and Michele Lee sees personal confessions about body identity delivered on an iPad, with stunning graphics and video. After listening to as many stories as you wish, you are led to a closed booth with a wall-sized mirror, asked to undress, and observe and record your own.

Tapping deep into potentially traumatic subject matter, The Naked Self is an extremely confronting experience, but after sobbing in the privacy of the booth I left feeling lighter and clearer.

It is just one example of the compelling works featured at the festival.

And a highlight in this four-star Theatre People review The Festival of Live Art.

The Naked Self was another highlight. Armed with a tablet and headphones, you are guided into a gentle space and invited to listen to audio portraits of people discussing their bodies. After twenty minutes of listening, you are invited into a soundproof booth to get naked by yourself and then record your own portrait, which is then added to the pool people can select from in further rounds of the piece. It was a lovely, gentle, respectful piece that carves out the opportunity to listen to and commune with the one thing that never leaves us: our bodies.



Production photos

By Jody Haines

TheNakedSelf-0029_small  TheNakedSelf-0095_small  TheNakedSelf-0100_small  TheNakedSelf-0114_small

Production video

By Arts House (yeah you have to go to the Arts House Vimeo channel to watch this. So click away on that blue button!)

The Naked Self (2016) by Tanya Dickson and Michele Lee from Arts House on Vimeo.


Development: Australia Council for the Arts, Arts House

Presentation: Arts House