See Incredible Images of Spencer Tunick’s Hull Project

3,200 unpaid volunteers turned up and stripped for the photo shoot.

Naked volunteers, painted in blue to reflect the colours found in Marine paintings in Hull's Ferens Art Gallery. Photo by Jon Super/AFP courtesy of Getty Images.
Naked volunteers, painted in blue. Photo by Jon Super/AFP courtesy of Getty Images.

This past Saturday, in the early hours of dawn, the city center of Hull was filled up with 3,200 naked people as part of Spencer Tunick’s latest project.

Starting at 3 am, the participants shed their clothing and helped paint each other’s bodies in different shades of blue. Tunick picked the shades from the Ferens Art Gallery’s collection and had body paint specially produced to match them, the Guardian reports.

(A print of Tunick’s work is now on offer at artnet auctions.)

Naked volunteers, painted in blue to reflect the colours found in Marine paintings in Hull's Ferens Art Gallery. Photo by Jon Super/AFP courtesy of Getty Images.

Naked volunteers, painted in blue, on the streets of Hull. Photo by Jon Super/AFP courtesy of Getty Images.

Another amazing photo from today's #seaofhull #SpencerTunick installation for #hull2017 #cityofculture #instahull

A photo posted by Joanne Walker (@joannewalker62) on

The project, commissioned by the city’s Ferens Art Gallery for Hull’s UK City of Culture celebration, was a gesture of celebration for the city as well as a reminder of the effect that climate change could have on it. The people flooding the streets of Hull represent the city’s culture, but also the increasingly worrisome rising sea levels cause by environmental shifts.

Feeling blue this morning in the UK #seaofhull

A photo posted by Spencer Tunick (@spencertunick) on

Tunick, who is known for his large-scale installations featuring crowds of nudes, was very pleased by the outcome of this specific project. For its realization, he needed 2,500 to 3,000 people to participate and an impressive 3,200 unpaid volunteers showed up for the Hull photo shoot. Tunick has deemed this project one of his best turnouts and his most successful works in the UK.

Hull’s city center closed its streets to the public from midnight to 10 am to allow for the project to take place. Volunteers of all shapes and sizes participated, and perhaps most surprisingly, several people with crutches and wheel-chairs chose to partake in the lengthy photo shoot as well.

Spencer Tunick shakes hands with 80 year old art collector Stephane Janssen who has participated in 20 of Turnick's installations. Photo by Jon Super/AFP courtesy of Getty Images.

Spencer Tunick shakes hands with 80 year old art collector Stephane Janssen who has participated in 20 of Turnick’s installations. Photo by Jon Super/AFP courtesy of Getty Images.

Amongst the crowd were teachers, social workers, and even 80-year-old art collector Stéphane Janssen, who had previously posed for several of Tunick’s shoots.

While the nudity was initially intimidating, most of the volunteers got acquainted with the idea relatively quickly. Although the project featured 3,200 naked bodies, most people commented on the surprisingly nonsexual atmosphere it produced. Rather, the mass nudity produced a sense of equality amongst the diversity of the mass, according to the Guardian.

A man covers up after taking part in the photoshoot. Photo by Jon Super/AFP courtesy of Getty Images.

A man covers up after taking part in the photoshoot. Photo by Jon Super/AFP courtesy of Getty Images.

The tide is coming in #seaofhull

A photo posted by Spencer Tunick (@spencertunick) on

Spencer Tunick’s photographs for his project “Sea of Hull” will be exhibited in the newly renovated Ferens Art Gallery in 2017 and will be bought for the Ferens permanent collection.


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