29th July 2022

Blackpill Beach, Swansea


29 Gorffennaf 2022

Traeth Blackpill, Abertawe





Artists /Artistiaid:





Photographer / Ffotograffydd Prosiect: Phil Holden

Our 18th annual Beach Sculpture Festival journeyed towards Swansea for the finale day at Blackpill Beach. This bay beach is a great place to find driftwood, exquisite shells of different sizes, shapes and colours plus other materials that can be used to make interesting and beautiful sculptures. Blackpill beach is a great place to birdwatch, especially the migratory wader birds that overwinter here. In particular, the Ringed Plover and the Sanderling, who work the tide to catch their favourite food. The birds are always inspiration for the sculptures that are created at Blackpill and the festival actively promotes the birds in the bay.

The outline of a seahorse is drawn in the sand and moulded into shape before decorating it using found materials on the beach, such as pebbles, shells etc.


'Wonderful experience - great way of learning for children'

A large scale starfish sculpture was drawn up, dug out and decorated to adorn the beach. Cockle and Oyster shells were used to create the texture and markings of the starfish, which are abundant on Welsh beaches. Being gregarious they are likely to come ashore in their groups and their favourite food is mussels.

People enjoyed discussions with the artists about the birds and everyone was inspired by the birdlife around the coast and especially at Blackpill. Visual resources were available to help identify species.

'Fantastic experience - thoroughly enjoyed it. We found it both inspiring and fun!'

'We had a lovely time joining in with the festival. The atmosphere was lovely and we saw such a great range of wonderful art!'


The festival brought opportunities to share ideas, collect and place resources enabling participants to feel part of a community. Attention to detail was paramount.

'Excellent activity for the children. thank you!'

A sanderling wader bird mosaic is a work of art.

Using different coloured selections of shells, participants created some really diverse pieces of work.

'Beautiful Sculptures - our children loved it!'

An engaging activity for everyone and a great opportunity to learn new skills and techniques for making beach sculptures.

'Positive, Lovely, fun, engaging, Happiness!'

The beach at the end of the day was a visual mosaic of foraged and sculpted sea birds, and the discussions around their precarious lives shared throughout the day.

Thank you to everyone for making our annual Beach Sculpture Festival on Gower and Swansea such a success once again.



Diolch i bawb am wneud ein gwyl cerflunwaith flynyddol mor llwyddiant unwaith eto.


The festival then moved to Aberavon Beach at the beginning of August to share the creativity that began on Gower. To see the Aberavon Event click here.


'Great fun. thank you! The encouragement from the artists was brilliant for the children'


A beautiful Curlew bird mosaic artwork is made. The plumage was an absorbing activity for lots of people to engage in using the many different shells on this beach. These art works highlighted the bird life in the bay acting as a reminder of their existence to passers-by. Participants were interested to discover Blackpill Bay was a great place to spot migratory wader or shore birds like the Curlew. As well as making sculptures based on the wader birds, people enjoyed finding and identifying shells such as oyster, cockle, welk, mussel, slipper limpet, etc. which are the food of the birds here.

'Excellent Event! A new vision of our local beach. How every day found items can be used to make such beautiful art! We loved it!'

All ages enjoyed working collaboratively alongside artists and members of their groups. They were impressed by each other's and expressed how making the sculptures had opened their eyes to the variety of shoreline resources to be creative with as well as noticing the sea birds present on the far shore.

'The Festival is an amazing experience each time we take part!'

Our participants' creativity was enhanced by developing new ideas and approaches in the work. ownership of the sculpture and more of an understanding of respect for the marine and beach environment. The temporary sculptures were much admired and prompted conversations about environmental art and it's ephemeral nature.

'Brilliant fun! We thoroughly enjoyed it!'

Our participants' creativity and well-being was enhanced through the festival workshops. Everyone was still involved using taught technique processes and developing ideas even when the event had finished!

Nature Conservation Team








All Photos by Phil Holden Copyright Art and Education by the Sea 2022 (Sculpture by the Sea UK)

Also see the five waymarking sculptures on the Gower coast path between Mumbles and Rhossili - see Sculpture on the Coast trail - click here
Dilynwch y Llwybr Cerflun ar y Arfordir - cliciwch yma

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