The Beach of Dreams 2021 500 miles of Suffolk & Essex coastline film was produced by Rosa Productions, supported by Arts Council England.
Bay Lines – Beach of Dreams
Coming up in 2023: Bay Lines – Beach of Dreams: a participatory programme as part of Morecombe Bay Partnership’s Ways Around The Bay initiative, by Kinetika in partnership with Kendal-based Rosa Productions.
Bay Lines – Beach of Dreams will present two linked events – the first in June is an investigative Bay-wide visual arts journey and a related community, storytelling and digital project, both leading to a series of public events at the end of August.
Inspired by the ‘Beach of Dreams ’ programme, initiated by Kinetika and Rosa Productions, and led by artistic director, Ali Pretty in 2021, ‘Bay Lines – Beach of Dreams’ will specifically focus on Morecambe Bay.
Using cycling routes and public footpaths, Bay Lines will host artist-led ‘foraging’ walks in June to collect dye materials, images and stories from the landscape, culminating in a ‘Natural Dye’ artists’ residency between 29 July and 6 August 2023, and workshops, led by Kinetika artist, Lesley Robinson. It will form part of the national Beach of Dreams 2025 programme which will culminate in a collective journey around 10,000 miles of coastline across the UK and Ireland, led by Kinetika and Creative Lives.
Learn more on the Morecombe Bay Partnership website.
Image: Mike Johnston
Beach of Dreams 2025
Kinetika is partnering with Creative Lives to scale up Beach of Dreams 2023-2025. It will culminate in a collective month of walking around the coastlines of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland in May 2025, with an invitation for international partners to echo Beach of Dreams around the world. If you are interested in being a partner, contact email@example.com.
Welcome to Beach of Dreams
About the project
Beach of Dreams began as a 500-mile walk in 2021 and will culminate in a collective UK and Ireland-wide mass participatory coastal journey in May 2025.
An unprecedented partnership of arts, cultural, environmental, and community organisations across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland will bring artists, scientists, and writers together with communities to creatively seek solutions for their local landscape in response to challenges presented by the climate emergency.
Hopes and fears, stories and dreams will be gathered mile by mile, shared on digital platforms with a global audience, showcased in stunning visual displays of thousands of locally-designed silk pennants made and carried by the public to inspire and catalyse positive change. More information on Beach of Dreams 2025 will be coming soon, watch this space.
The credit list of project contributors from 2021 is here.
The Story Map
The project builds on a pilot, Beach of Dreams 2021, that was an epic walk of 500 miles over 35 days along the east coast of England. The Artistic Director of Kinetika, Ali Pretty, walked the full 500 miles with Guardian travel writer Kevin Rushby and radio producer John Offord. They were joined by local people, environmentalists, and artists along the coast of Suffolk, Essex, and the Thames Estuary.
The orange dots on the map represent each mile of the route. Click the dots on the map to explore photos and text from hundreds of participants which were used as inspiration for the design of 500 silk pennants.
Hire the Beach of Dreams flags
Beach of Dreams created 500 naturally-dyed silk pennants which are now available for hire.
Find out more
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Why ‘Beach of Dreams’?
Beach of Dreams builds on the success of Kinetika’s Silk River which worked with ten communities along the Thames and linked them and their artistic response through a continuous ten-day 142mile journey on foot. Kevin Rushby joined us and wrote a daily blog. On the day that we walked from Tilbury to East Tilbury, he encountered the glittering foreshore on the Thames Estuary and named it The Beach of Broken Dreams.
“Three years ago, near Tilbury, I experienced something profound. In the bleakest setting, on a grey flat day, with a muddy tide sucking on a scraggy shoreline, I came across a beach filled with marvels and treasure. It was the place where London had dumped its Blitz debris on top of a Victorian tip which was itself on top
of a Georgian dump, and so on back to the Romans. I was totally unprepared for. No one had warned me. I’d strayed from the path and was watching my feet when I began to zigzag between the strange objects that were sticking out from the shingle and sand.
Gently extracting a complete 19th century glass bottle from under a broken WWII wireless set and a vicious thistle, I reflected that you just never know where joy and salvation are coming from. Beauty and hope can crop up in the unlikeliest of places.
Now in this time of restriction and stasis, at a time when the countryside has offered itself up for rediscovery, I feel like I want to walk, and walk far, finding more beaches like that one near Tilbury. It feels like an opportunity that needs to be grasped.
The beach is always the place where human life is exposed, with all its frailties, ambitions and dreams. Voyages begin and end here. Clothes are removed to expose the hard-won six-pack, or the beer belly. Novels are started and finally finished.
Children and dogs have fun, but sometimes, tragically, drown. On beaches we find sublime panoramas, but also all the rubbish that we had thrown away and hoped never to see again. With a brutal disregard for human sensitivities, the sands bear witness to our mistakes: the dead dolphin in a broken fishing net, the empty container with the skull and crossbones sticker, and the stricken seabirds marinated in crude oil – all things I have encountered on the British coast.
And somewhere high up in the dunes among the rare orchids and butterflies, there is often a wavy line of dried seaweed, like a hastily scribbled message from the sea, warning us of even higher tides to come.”
“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.”