Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Flash mob strip for beach stunt

Residents of Hastings in East Sussex bare all in a naked flash mob on the beach, as the Jerwood Gallery in the town competes to win a photographic portrait session with photographer Spencer Tunick

Up to 30 hardy exhibitionists braved bitingly cold wind and rain to bare all in a naked flash mob on a beach.

The stunt was staged in Hastings, East Sussex, in an effort to attract acclaimed photographer Spencer Tunick to the seaside town.

The resort's Jerwood Gallery is on a three-strong shortlist, alongside venues in Folkestone, Kent, and Brighton, vying to host American Tunick, famed for mass nude photoshoots.

Against the backdrop of Hastings' fishing boats in the Old Town area, people disrobed in an attempt to win the public vote contest, organised by Culture 24.

Among those who took part was new mother Hannah Corke, 25, who said afterwards: "I thought it was really funny.

"It hasn't been done before. I gave birth five months ago and it's quite liberating to get naked in front of lots of people and get rid of that post-pregnancy fear."

Fellow participant Sam Wickham, 43, said: "I gave birth six months ago and I also thought it would be liberating.

"My body is probably not in the best shape, but I'm happy to show it off. There was a lot of camaraderie."

The Jerwood Gallery is up against the Georges House Gallery, Folkestone, and Brighton's Royal Pavilion and Museums to secure Tunick for a photoshoot during the Connect 10 Museums at Night Festival weekend in May.

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."

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