Sea People by Nabil Ali

Sea People Exhibition


This dramatic outdoor exhibition of 15 large sculptures was installed 10-11 July 2021 on a remote beach at Walton-on-the-Naze, by artist Nabil Ali.

Looking out to sea, the haunting figures represented lost communities and forgotten ancestors that had been washed away with the eroding coastline along the eastern shores of Essex.  Clay gathered from this beach was used to form the figures, as well as other natural materials such as willow, hessian and wax.

This powerful installation took months to create and was a stunning and unique sight in this secluded location.

This exhibition is now over, but you can find out more about the artist on Nabil Ali’s website



Photos below are by Mike Johnston


About Nabil Ali

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.

“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

Nabil Ali with Ali Pretty

Nabil Ali with Ali Pretty


Beach of Dreams would like to thank the Essex Cultural Diversity Project for supporting this installation with funding and the land owners for giving us permission to install it.

Thanks also to the Essex Wildlife Discovery Centre for their help and support.

Special thanks 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

Work in Progress

Photos of the making process and close-ups of the sculpture No.1 provided by the artist.

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