Naked and painted blue in Hull all for the sake of art

Naked volunteers in Hull. Photo / Getty Images
Naked volunteers in Hull. Photo / Getty Images

This is the eye-opening moment a sea of people took part in a huge art installation after stripping off and painting themselves blue.

Around 3200 people took part in the international project in Hull in the UK, involving participants from 20 countries, posing at some of the city's major landmarks.

They caused quite a stir around the city, with hundreds lying down across a road in the city centre while others circled one of Hull's parks.

Participants painted blue in the Sea of Hull project. Photo / Getty Images
Participants painted blue in the Sea of Hull project. Photo / Getty Images

But it was when they put their clothes back on that caused the most bizarre sights, with models resembling Smurfs as they walked and cycled around the city, some covering their modesty with cardboard boxes.

The streets of Hull covered in a blue hue. Photo / Getty Images
The streets of Hull covered in a blue hue. Photo / Getty Images

The 'Sea of Hull' project was created by New York-based artist Spencer Tunick and is believed to be the largest of its kind ever to be held in the UK.

The hundreds who gathered at dawn were daubed with four shades of blue body paint in celebration of Hull's maritime heritage and then gathered for a series of site specific installations around some of the city's best known historic locations.

The Sea of Hull installation. Photo / Getty Images
The Sea of Hull installation. Photo / Getty Images
People stand in a public park taking part in a mass nude art installation entitled Sea of Hull. Photo / AP
People stand in a public park taking part in a mass nude art installation entitled Sea of Hull. Photo / AP
US artist Spencer Tunick, left, shakes hands with 80-year-old Belgian, Arizona-based art collector Stephane Janssen who has participated in 20 of Turnick's installations. Photo / AP
US artist Spencer Tunick, left, shakes hands with 80-year-old Belgian, Arizona-based art collector Stephane Janssen who has participated in 20 of Turnick's installations. Photo / AP

Naked volunteers participate in the Sea of Hull project. Photo / Getty Images
Naked volunteers participate in the Sea of Hull project. Photo / Getty Images

Tunick said: 'The Sea of Hull installation was one of the most fantastic projects I've ever done, and it was inspiring to be able to intertwine the city's maritime heritage against an urban backdrop throughout the whole piece.

"The photo incorporates some of the city's unique locations including the architectural steel-structured masterpiece that is Scale Lane Bridge, framed by Georgian and Victorian buildings, adding to the striking shots captured during the installation.

"It's always wonderful to see the various-sized people covered in paint walking through the streets of a city I admire. I'm looking forward to the exhibition of my final works made here in Hull in the spring of 2017."

The council said Saturday's turnout is the largest number of participants taking part in any of Tunick's previous UK artworks, beating Gateshead in 2005 and Salford in 2010.

New York based artist Spencer Tunick oversaw the installation entitled Sea of Hull. Photo / AP
New York based artist Spencer Tunick oversaw the installation entitled Sea of Hull. Photo / AP

Curator of art for Ferens Art Gallery Kirsten Simister said: 'When we announced this back in March we were excited but we had no idea how many people here would respond.

After taking part in Spencer Tunick's 'Sea of Hull' installation, a man covers himself with pieces of cardboard. Photo / Getty Images
After taking part in Spencer Tunick's 'Sea of Hull' installation, a man covers himself with pieces of cardboard. Photo / Getty Images

"It took off like a rocket from day one with an overwhelming number of people signing up and we are delighted to see how Spencer has brought them together today to create some remarkable new images and unforgettable memories for themselves."


Martin Green, chief executive and director of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, said: 'Spencer Tunick is the first major artistic commission to be announced for 2017.

"The team at the Ferens Art Gallery have worked incredibly hard to bring this world-class artist to Hull, adding to the excitement of it being UK City of Culture.

"It's also a fantastic opportunity for people locally and further afield to be involved ahead of 2017 and I can't wait to see the resulting images when they are unveiled at the gallery next year as part of an exciting exhibition."

- Daily Mail

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