World Beach Project

The World Beach Project was devised by the artist Sue Lawty, in association with the V&A. It ran for 5 years, from 2007 to 2012. The Project was global in scope and open to anyone, anywhere, of any age – participants simply uploaded photographs of their own patterns made on a beach with stones.

The idea for the project originated from Sue’s work as V&A Textile Artist in Residence in 2005. You can read more about Sue’s work on her blog: Concealed, Discovered, Revealed.

The particular inspiration for the World Beach Project came from Sue’s work with patterns made with stones. This meant that for the Project there would be no seashells, seaweed, driftwood or other flotsam and jetsam commonly found on beaches. It also meant no drawing in – or shaping of – sand; just stones and nothing else.

With these simple rules, the project built on the experience many of us have of making patterns on beaches and shorelines, combining the simplicity of making patterns with stones with the complexities of shape, size, colour, tone, composition, similarity, and difference.

Entrants were asked to upload three photographs of their own project – one of the beach, one of the process of creating the project and one of the finished artwork – along with a short description about their experience. These were then added to an online, searchable, map of the world.

By the close of the project in July 2012, over 1,400 entries had been added to the World Beach Project with entries from all age groups and from every continent – including one project from Antarctica.

Video: The World Beach Project

Although we are no longer accepting entries for the World Beach Project, the project map is still live and all past entries are available for browsing.

Launch the World Beach Project map

A gift in your will

You may not have thought of including a gift to a museum in your will, but the V&A is a charity and legacies form an important source of funding for our work. It is not just the great collectors and the wealthy who leave legacies to the V&A. Legacies of all sizes, large and small, make a real difference to what we can do and your support can help ensure that future generations enjoy the V&A as much as you have.

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