The Big Chill recreates the big spill…
Spencer Tunick

While whipping off everything but your wellies at a festival would normally lead to a public indecency charge or a few hard-to-explain-to-your-boss Facebook pictures at the very least, The Big Chill Festival is encouraging it. Heck, Spencer Tunick is requesting it, all in the name of art.

The American artist has spent almost two decades documenting the nude figure both en masse and individually with photography and video. From squeezing 700 naked volunteers into a theatre in Bruges to laying down 1,500 naked Geordies on the quayside in Newcastle, Tunick has created over 75 bare-skinned installations all over the world. The end result is a myriad of thought provoking images designed to challenge the preconceived views of nudity and privacy, with thousands of naked volunteers posing in these public places.

Having taken his art around the world, Tunick is now hoping to make Herefordshire the latest backdrop for his next artistic offering. But he needs you in order to make this a real possibility. Setting up his next installation at The Big Chill, he is looking for festival- goers at the three-day event to sign up in order to bare all and participate in his on-site art.

The concept behind this creation will be the recent BP oil spill. Consequentially volunteers will be painted different colours using washable cosmetic make up, with some individuals painted black to symbolise the well-publicised spillage. But Tunick wants to make it clear that the theme is not an opportunity to imply fault. Instead, the concept is a little broader and more far reaching. “[The theme is] not pointing the blame, but bringing attention to the connection between our massive need for oil and how its connection to the body and our existence is intertwined,” Tunick explained. “I will be also making abstractions with the many nude participants with 4 additional colours, as homage to Yves Klein, Mark Rothko & Ellsworth Kelly.”

There will be shower stations and soap to help clean up participants afterwards, with a team of make up artists on hand to help prepare everyone involved. The art will take place far away from the people that are not participating to help those partaking keep their private bits a little more private. As with all individuals who have made history in Tunick’s naked art over the last 18 years, festival-goers who take part will receive a limited edition print of the work, mailed to them by The Big Chill in the following month.

For many, the very attraction of packing up as much as our rucksacks can retain and heading to the best of UK festivals is the unrivalled feeling of escapism. Shedding the weight of technology, showering and sobriety, it’s a freedom that few experience any other time of the year. Tunick is now hoping to offer a chance to heighten this, providing festival-goers the chance to shed their clothes and make their mark in history. “I can't make my art without you,” explains Tunick. “So I am hoping you will spend a short period of time with me to make some art. Take a leap of faith, and leap into colour! See you there.”

Festival goers who have purchased a Big Chill ticket are invited to be part of this unique opportunity by registering at -

View a gallery of past Spencer Tunick works HERE


Big Chill Festival 2010

Spencer Tunick will be at this year's Big Chill festival. Join Clash on the road to the Big Chill Festival with news, interviews and features. Visit ClashMusic's Big Chill hub for all the latest news on the festival HERE.

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