Wymondham author Robert Ashton makes a splash of blue in Sea of Hull

Robert Ashton painted blue in Hull. Submitted

Robert Ashton painted blue in Hull. Submitted - Credit: Submitted

It is once in a blue moon you see something like this.

Thousands people shed their clothes and created a sea of blue in Hull this weekend – and a Norfolk author was among them.

Robert Ashton, of Wymondham, travelled to the city to take part in an audacious art project, which saw more than 3,000 people strip naked, don blue body paint and parade through the streets.

Sea of Hull was the vision of New York-based artist Spencer Tunick, and was the largest event of its kind to be staged in the UK.

It saw participants from 20 different countries and in Mr Ashton, Norfolk had at least one representative.

The author and social entrepreneur said: 'It was a very levelling experience – in day-to-day life so many people can be judgmental based on people's clothing and how they present themselves.

'Anxiety about our image and how we think others see us can be a real problem; however, here everybody was the same. It was fascinating.'

Most Read

The 60-year-old found out about the project through a friend and spent several hours nude in the early hours of Saturday. He added: 'There was a great camaraderie among the people involved – embarrassment never came. We stripped off and helped each other. I was not alone in Hull that morning.' The project was commissioned by Hull's Ferens Art Gallery, as part of the city's year as UK City of Culture.

Hull City Council says the attendance at the event surpassed that of Mr Tunick's previous projects in Gateshead in 2005 and Salford in 2010. Mr 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.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter