World Beach Project

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Video Transcript

Sue Lawty, Yorkshire Textiles Artist

Hello, I’m Sue Lawty. I devised the World Beach Project and we’ve come to St Margert’s Bay here in the South Coast to make a film about the processes that you go through for the World Beach Project. World beach is a global art project open to anyone who ants to do it. It’s about making a pattern on a beach or shoreline, only from the naturally occurring stones, then sharing that pattern with the online community through the V&A’s website.

When you first arrive at the beach, it’s worth taking a moment to find a good location to make your pattern. My idea for this project is based around patterns made with stones and only stones. That means no shells, seaweed, driftwood or even shaping sand. By all means make patterns using these things, but they just can’t be for this project.

I probably should say also that when your making a piece on the beach, you can actually do it very quickly, and it can be any size. Because you can make something really quite tiny, and it can still be beautiful, or you can make something huge

In first coming to a beach, the choice can be overwhelming. Its good to walk around, have a close look, see what’s there. Certain kinds of stones will start to catch your eye. Collect as many as you need to get started, then you can sort them into size, shape, colour or tone. Even when the stones look very similar, if you study them closely you will see many differences. I think one of the exciting things about this project – what I think works really well – is not coming to the beach with preconceived ideas.

It’s interesting you just home in on certain stones. The lovely thing about this project is that people will come to a beach like this and do completely different things.

What we’re going to do now is sort them we’re grouping them really. You might want to plan your pattern beforehand, or you could create it spontaneously as we did.

One of the things for the World Beach project is that we need three photographs: one of the finished piece, one of the context so the whole beach, and one of the process. Inevitably the design will be washed away and disappear but of course, when you upload your three photographs onto the V&A website, your pattern will become a permanent part of the online gallery for the World Beach Project.


Since 2007 Yorkshire-based textile artist Sue Lawty has been working with the V&A on a unique global art project called the 'World Beach'. Although well known for her stunning woven tapestries, Lawty also works with stone and lead, taking inspiration from geology, scale, repetition and craft as antitheses to the whirl of consumerism.



Building on her fascination with the beauty and simplicity of nature, Sue Lawty is inviting us to create our own beach drawings from stones and to share them with the world online. Watch Sue making her own beach creation as she discusses how you can get involved in this growing artistic phenomenon and follow online here.

Taking inspiration from geology, scale, repetition and craft as antitheses to the whirl of consumerism...