Contributors & Credits

Thank you to everyone who contributed to Beach of Dreams, it was a huge feat of collaboration to complete this creative walk.

Story Map Read Kevin’s Blog The Sea People Beach of Dreams main page

Dream Team

Ali Pretty – Artistic Director

Ali Pretty is the founding member and artistic director of Kinetika. Since 2012 Ali’s practice has been to develop transformational walking arts projects with diverse communities these bring people together by walking, talking and painting large-scale silk creations. Ali has led walking projects in Wiltshire, Isle of Wight, Lincolnshire, Essex and Thurrock, where she has developed an annual walking, talking and making festival Thurrock 100.

This pioneering place-making model has been replicated internationally in various forms in Ethiopia, Chile and India. Her most ambitious project was Silk River, commissioned by the British Council as part of the UK/India year of Culture in 2017.

Ali worked with a team of artists to curate and produce 500 individually designed silk pennants for Beach of Dreams, the first edition of an evolving national artwork. Kinetika works on hand-woven Murshidabad silk.

“Beach of Dreams offers the opportunity to extend my practice by learning how to use natural dyes challenging the aesthetic of my own silk work. Producing 500 individual silk pennants, to carry the dreams of 500 participants for 500 miles will push the boundaries of the walking, talking and making model that I’ve been developing for the last 8 years, which has at its’ heart the voice of the local community.”

Ali Pretty

Kevin Rushby – Writer

Read Kevin’s Blog

Kevin Rushby is Guardian Travel’s ‘Explorer’ and a contributor to the Saturday Review. He is the author of four acclaimed travel books, including Hunting Pirate Heaven, an investigation of 17th century pirate utopias in the Indian Ocean. His most recent book is Paradise, an historical account of human searching for perfection over the centuries. Kevin collaborated with Ali on Silk River, writing a daily blog of the entire journey.

Kevin walked all 500 miles of Beach of Dreams 2021 and captured the narrative as it unfolded in a regular blog.

“This is a time of emergencies and crises and humans always think more clearly when walking. It is when walking that lost treasures are spotted, and their value and meaning understood. Walking brings contact with people and time to talk. The range and scope of people that will be drawn into Beach of Dreams is immense: scientists and artists, old and young, expert and amateur, all manner of people will make contact, fostering new ideas, opinions and partnerships.

In this context, and in these times, Beach of Dreams feels like the right thing to do. It is a walk that will bring vitality and colour to thousands of people, forging new connections and relationships that will develop hope and inspiration when most needed.”

Kevin Rushby


Nabil Ali – Visual Artist

Sea People Exhibition

Nabil Ali has developed a working methodology using plant matter as the primary process material, allowing him to explore the environment to produce Art. He grows and collects his materials forming an intimate relationship with the creative process to understand the boundaries of the materials used.

For Beach of Dreams Nabil created an evocative installation – The Sea People.


Special thanks for supporting the Sea People exhibition go to:

  • Scott Lawrence (Tendring District Council)
  • Indi Sandhu and Jo Nancarrow (Essex Cultural Diversity Project)
  • Christine Berton, Maximiliano Nicolic and volunteers (Essex Wildlife Trust Naze Discovery Centre)
  • Michelle and Emma at the Naze Tower
  • David Eagle and family
  • Sara Hayes
  • Rob Rutter
  • Matt Lloyd
  • Sarah Ballard

This installation was supported by Essex Cultural Diversity Project, read more on their website 


Nabil Ali with Ali Pretty

Nabil Ali with Ali Pretty

“From the weeds of the sea that covers the eastern coast of Essex, wrapped around spiral shells, fish bones and old weathered wood which tell the hidden stories of the depths of the North Sea, natural materials are scattered across the stony beaches waiting to be found and made into abstract forms of Sea People, with their distant voices heard in the blowing tidal winds that travel along the crashing waves.”

Nabil Ali



Produced by Kinetika

Artistic Director: Ali Pretty

Production Manager: Alex Lingford

Production Coordinator: Sarah Ballard

Business Manager: Donna Plakhtienko

Design Studio Manager/ Flag installations: Matt Lloyd

Website/ Social Media: Edwina Rigby

T100 Festival Project Manager: Katie Beadle

Media/ Documentation

Media support and film: Rosa Production

Audio interviews: John Offord

Film: John-Martin White

Film: Fotis Begklis

Photography & video shorts: Mike Johnston

Photography: Mark Massey



Creative Content

Artistic Director: Ali Pretty

Blog writer: Kevin Rushby

Installation artist: Nabil Ali

Natural dye specialist: Rob Jones, Romor Designs

Activity pack design: Mark Massey

Scientific advisors: Cefas



Silk Pennant Artists:

Ali Pretty

Lisa Meehan

Jacci Todd

Margaret Hall

Lesley Robinson

Sarah Doyle

Kara Thompson

Shannon Topliss

Genevieve Rudd

Sally Chinea

Hazel Huber



Route Planner: Peter Aylmer

Ferry Master: Colin Saunders

Walk reccies: Members of the LDWA



Rose & Terrance Hibbert

Geraint Pugh

Gary Richens

Walk Leaders

Graham Mullender

Lesley Robinson

Stephen Green

Sally Chinea

Hazel Huber

Harry Barclay

Joan Bullivant

Phil Easteal

Jack Kent

Keith Turpin

Colin Saunders

Geraint Pugh

Gary Richens



Essex Council

Essex Path to Prosperity

Coastal Communities Fund

Thurrock Council (T100)

The National Lottery Community Fund (T100)

The National Lottery Heritage Fund (English Heritage’s Shout Out Loud programme)

Essex Cultural Diversity Project (The Sea People)

Arts Council England (Storymap)



First Light Festival, Lowestoft

Harwich Festival of the Arts

T100: Walking, Talking & Making Festival, Thurrock

LDWA – Long Distance Walkers Association


Visit Essex

Estuary Festival

Essex Book Festival – Radical Walks Programme

Beach of Dreams logo_lockup2_1200

Read Kevin’s Blog Story Map The Sea People Beach of Dreams main page