Naked stunt held on Hastings beach

Published on by Luke Withers (author)

 (photo: )

A flash mob stripped on Hastings beach yesterday in order to get the attention of photographer Spencer Tunick. 

Locals braved the wet and windy conditions in an attempt to attract photographer Tunick to the town. Around 30 people undressed on the beach amongst Hastings fishing boats all in the name of winning a competition.

The flash mobs intentions were to perform a stunt in order for public votes. Participants disrobed and held up placards encouraging members of the public to "Vote Hastings".

Hastings Jerwood Gallery is up against 2 other venues all who hope of getting Spencer Tunick to their respective towns. The three venues are fighting it out in a competition being run by connect 24.

Gallery director Liz Gilmore said: "Hastings is so celebrated for its special festivals, including Jack in the Green, Pirate's Day and Hastings bonfire.

"The culturally-rich and quirky traditions of Hastings and actual site location would make a wonderfully fitting context for this one-off event."

The gallery was opened in March 2012 and cost £4 million to build. The gallery was controversial at first but it seems like the people of Hastings are finally coming around to the idea of it.

The Gallery is up against the Georges House Gallery, Folkestone, and Brighton's Royal Pavilion to book Tunick for a photo-shoot during the connect 10 museums at night festival weekend in May. As of yet the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings is the only one of the three venues to receive such support.

Among those there was 50-year-old Richard Cooke. He said afterwards: “That is without doubt one of the weirdest things I’ve ever taken part in. It was quite exciting to be part of and if it can win the competition and get Tunick to Hastings then I’d be over the moon.”

He went on to add: “ We’re up against venues in Brighton and Folkestone but I think after this stunt we can win the competition and get Tunick to come down to Hastings.” 

Also at the event was Victoria Pearce, 35. Although she wasn’t one of the crowd who decided to bare all, she told me this: “Hastings is such an eccentric and unique little town so something like this fits in perfectly. It has been a fantastic day and now all we can do is just hope we win the competition and get Tunick to the town”

Tunick came to prominence in the 1990’s with his unique organisations and photographs of large-scale nude shoots. Tunick has photographed over 75 human photographs around the world. He has created installations in locations including Mexico City, Portugal, the Dead Sea and New York City.

This isn’t the first time Hastings Jerwood gallery has been involved in a competition. Last year the venue was in competition with two other Uk’s to win the museum night with the Chapmans. The Hastings venue won the competition. 

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