The city of Hull will be hosting US photographer Spencer Tunick on 9 July for a naked photoshoot involving hundreds of residents.

Tunick, who has become known for his images of large groups of naked people around the world, will take the photos are part of Hull’s year as UK City of Culture.

Participants will be covered in body paint to create a colourful spectacle – and to help them overcome their inhibitions. The paint will imitate the sea in recognition of the city’s valued maritime history.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone interested in art who wants to pose nude, but is modest,” said Tunick. “It intrigues me that in some places where there are major streets or parks today, previously there was water. To reflect this I’ll be using body paint so that the massed people create the idea of a sea of humanity flooding the urban landscape.”

Tunick, who is primarily based in New York, has created installations involving more than 90 landmarks around the world, including the Sydney Opera House and the Place des Arts in Montreal.

The installation, which will be entitled Sea of Hull, will be displayed at Feren’s Art Gallery in Hull.

The curator gallery, Kirsten Simister, said: “This is more than a commission. It’s an opportunity to involve people directly in an amazing live, performance that will temporarily transform the city.

“His new body of work will form part of an exhibition in 2017 and will also be purchased for the permanent collection.”

Participants in the shoot must be aged over 18 and can sign up for free on the Hull 2017 website.