The ScallopAldeburgh
Thorpe Road
Suffolk IP15 5

 

Simply known as Scallop, this stunning stainless steel sculpture is a tribute to the English 20th century composer, Benjamin Britten and his music.

In 2003 Suffolk-born artist, Maggi Hambling was commissioned to produce a sculpture to commemorate Aldeburgh’s famous resident. In true Hambling style she has chosen an object that is commonly found on the Suffolk coast, lives in the sea and is a favourite local shellfish, and treated it in an abstract fashion.

She calls the sculpture ‘a conversation with the sea’ and states: “An important part of my concept is that at the centre of the sculpture, where the sound of the waves and the winds are focused, a visitor may sit and contemplate the mysterious power of the sea,"

Not everyone agrees with her and some locals hate this manmade intrusion on their seashore.

This writer believes it is one of the most beautiful sculptures she has seen and evocative of everything that Benjamin Britten loved. The wind and the waves were his inspiration and he would swim in the sea several times a day and walk along the beach every afternoon, fashioning his compositions in his head as he walked.

The famous violinist, Yehudi Menuhin, once commented, "If wind and water could write music, it would sound like Ben's."

The sculpture is 13.3 feet (4 metres) high and made of corrugated stainless steel. The piece is made up of two interlocking broken scallop shells. Pierced through the upright shell so that it can be read against the sky is the phrase: "I hear those voices that will not be drowned". These haunting words are from Peter Grimes, a Britten opera about a local fisherman.

The sculpture is designed to be walked around, touched and sat upon. From each angle is reminds the viewer of something different – the ancient scallop symbol of pilgrimage; Botticelli’s scallop shell in ‘The Birth of Venus’; a knight on a rearing charger ; the ripples on the sand left by the sea at low tide; or a piece of shingle vegetation.

The sculpture was made by Aldeburgh craftsmen Sam and Dennis Pegg and can be found on the northern beach near the Thorpe Road car park.  

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Getting There
- By Car: Aldburgh
Aldeburgh is signposted down the A1094, off the A12 North of Norwich. There is plentiful parking.
 
Google Maps - The Scallop