Spotlight On: Spencer Tunick’s Sea of Hull

In July 2016 people travelled far and wide to participate in Spencer Tunick’s Sea of Hull, a series of unique artworks commissioned by the Ferens Art Gallery. Under the artist’s direction, over 3,200 participants stripped off and painted their skin with one of four shades of blue body paint; each hue of colour inspired by the city’s sea faring heritage and its impressive maritime art collections.

In the early hours of the morning thousands of bare bodies lined the streets of Hull, juxtaposing the human form against public space. New textures and shapes emerged within Hull’s urban landscape like never before and the contours of bodies metamorphized into ripples of the sea.

 Sea of Hull_Sea of Hull. Photo: © Spencer Tunick

Since 1994 American photographer, Spencer Tunick has devised major installations across the world , each documenting live nudes. Transcending the taboo of public nudity is a central focus in Tunick’s practice and he openly invites the public to participate in his artworks. His installation in Hull attracted the most participants out of all of his UK based works of art.


Sea of Hull (2016) is on display as part of the SKIN: Freud, Mueck and Tunick exhibition at Ferens Art Gallery, alongside impressive artworks from Ferens Art Collection, Tate and National Galleries of Scotland

Join Future Ferens for an engaging panel discussion on The Nude in Art on Thu 10 Aug at 2pm. Get your questions ready for a Skype interview with Spencer Tunick and find out what it was like to take part in the Sea of Hull.

The exhibition closes on Sun 13 Aug 2017.