More than 3,000 people from 20 countries have stripped off and been painted blue as they took part in a mass human artwork in Hull.
Gathering at dawn, the life models were daubed with four different shades of blue body paint in celebration of the city’s maritime heritage. They then posed for a series of installations in some of Hull’s most historic locations, including the former Queens Dock, now a city centre park, the Guildhall and the Scale Lane swing bridge.
The council said the event had attracted more people than artist Spencer Tunick’s previous UK projects, in Gateshead in 2005 and Salford in 2010.
The work was commissioned by the Ferens Art Gallery, and will be one of its highlights next year, when Hull is UK City of Culture. Kirsten Simister from the gallery said: “When we announced this back in March we were excited but we had no idea how many people here would respond.
“It took off like a rocket from day one with an overwhelming number of people signing up.”
New York-based Tunick said: “It’s always wonderful to see the various-sized people covered in paint walking through the streets of a city I admire.”
One of those who took part, Natasha Porter, has appeared in a precious Tunick project.
She told Sky News: “This was an amazing experience. It was on such a bigger scale than I’ve ever done before.
“It’s like being part of a surreal dream.”
Another participant, Hannah Savage said: “It was my first time and it was in my home city, so for me it wasn’t just a perspective of being nude and being part of an art work, it was also seeing Hull in a totally new way…
“Just this beautiful tidal wave of painted people. It was incredible.”