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She sells seashells by the seashore

8th November 2013

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On a recent holiday to Suffolk I visited Aldeburgh to take a look at ‘Scallop’ – Maggi Hambling’s evocative beach sculpture.

Made from stainless steel the pair of interlocking, broken scallop shells stand 12ft tall on the shingle beach. Unveiled in November 2003 it has been a ‘Marmite’ installation suffering recurring acts of vandalism.

Thankfully, when I visited it was graffiti free and as it was late in the day, not covered in people. I think it looks fantastic (and yes I do like Marmite).

It is dedicated to Benjamin Britten who as an Aldeburgh resident used to walk the beach in the afternoon. The wording cut out of the upright shell is taken from Britten’s opera ‘Peter Grimes. It reads “I hear those voices that will not be drowned”.

Visitors are encouraged to clamber aboard and look out to sea. It is incredibly tactile – you can’t help but reach out and touch the smooth, cold steel.

I would recommend you go and take a look at ‘Scallop‘ if you are ever Aldeburgh way. Until then you can take a look at the photos I took by clicking here.


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