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Naked celebration for artist Lowry

A thousand people will pose naked in public this weekend in homage to celebrated British artist LS Lowry.

The hardy souls will strip and parade in eight different locations across Lowry's native Salford and Manchester to be photographed and filmed for a new artwork by renowned artist Spencer Tunick.

The event is to celebrate the tenth birthday of The Lowry, the gallery and arts venue in Salford's former docks, where many of Lowry's paintings are displayed.

Lowry used the factories, mills and streets of the industrial north as the back-drop for his "matchstick men" paintings, while Tunick's favoured material is the naked human body.

The New York based artist has made his name persuading thousands of men and women to shed both their clothes and their inhibitions in locations as diverse as Sydney, Montreal and Santiago.

This weekend he will use the post-industrial backdrop favoured by Lowry as a "visual response" to the British artist's own work.

Tunick will focus on the concept of 'everyday people' as a reference to the compositional style of LS Lowry, whose figurative works depict a mass of bodies going about their daily life.

Volunteers, five hundred on each day, and not all matchstick thin, will be bussed to eight secret locations over the weekend to be photographed for Tunick's work, to be shown at The Lowry later this year.

Michael Simpson, head of galleries at The Lowry, said: "I think Lowry would really like it because his whole mission for him was to paint ordinary, everyday people going around their daily lives and the people who feature in this project are doing something extra-ordinary, with no clothes on, but they are just ordinary people, all different colours and shapes and sizes. He would like the fact that it is not high-brow or pretentious, just ordinary people. He would be amused, even a bit bemused probably."

Laurence Stephen Lowry worked as a rent-collector which sent him all over Salford and Manchester, knocking on doors and sketching street scenes as he went before painting them onto canvas at his home.

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