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3,000 People Took Off Their Clothes And Painted Themselves Blue

The nude spectacle, "Sea of Hull", was the latest human installation by artist Spencer Tunick.

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More than 3,000 volunteers took off all their clothes, were painted blue, and gathered in Hull city centre on Saturday morning.

The nude spectacle was the latest installation by artist Spencer Tunick, who is famous for his nude crowd portraits. In 2005 he created a similar work in Gateshead, and again in Salford in 2010.

With an estimated 3,200 people taking part in Hull on Saturday, this is Tunick's largest UK installation yet.

People were painted various shades of blue and green so that they could appear to become a large body of water for the work, which is titled "Sea of Hull".

Hull is one of England's most historic ports, and Tunick was keen to represent that in his work.

"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 back-drop throughout the whole piece," the artist told Hull Daily Mail.

"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 back-drop throughout the whole piece," Tunick continued.

When Tunick issued a call-out for naked participants in March, he was met with an enthusiastic response.

Never ending stream of people heading to the beautiful Scale Lane Bridge for the final shot #SeaofHull

“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,” Kirsten Simister, curator of art at the city's Ferens Art Gallery, said.

The nude images will go on display at the gallery next year as part of Hull's UK City of Culture celebrations.

Martin Green, chief executive of Hull City Council was pleased that the nude spectacle would be leading next year's culture events in Hull.

“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," he told PA.

“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.”

#seaofhull, what an absolutely amazing experience. Cold though.

The atmosphere at the event was said to be "incredible". "It was amazing. People of all ages and sizes were taking part. There were babies, the elderly and even some blind people and people in wheelchairs took part," Hull Daily Mail reporter Amy Nicholson said.

A few waves still kicking about still! #seaofhull #cityofculture2017 #art #photographs


Tunick too was delighted by the variety of people who embraced his artwork. “It’s always wonderful to see the various-sized people covered in paint walking through the streets of a city I admire," he said. "I’m looking forward to the exhibition of my final works made here in Hull in the spring of 2017.”




Laura Silver is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Laura Silver at laura.silver@buzzfeed.com.

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