Aber Afan

14th and 15th August



Artists: Viv Rhule, Sara Holden, Dan McCabe, Patricia McKenna, David Pitt, Lynne Denman and Laila Williams. Project Photographer: Phil Holden

In August, the Sculpture by the Sea UK Festival moved to the vast and beautiful sands of Aberavon in Neath Port Talbot with a view of Swansea and The Mumbles Lighthouse in the distance. As the artists put up all the banners and flags, people began to arrive to take part in what promised to be a hot and sunny day with the perfect conditions to make some exciting sculptures from the natural resources that the beach has to offer.Garden spades and rakes were used to create large scale artworks that could be seen from a distance and would engage with passers by

Site-specific sculpture spiral created with a rake.


Sea dream mobiles made with shells and other beach findings.

There were some driftwood pieces washed up at the foot of the beach steps with a natural sea pattina wash that would be suitable for for some handcrafted mobile artworks which participants eagerly collected with the artists. Apart from shells, the main material that the beach offers, is the first class honey coloured sand that is ideal for carving, moulding and sculpting! .

Large scale Neptune Head sculpture engaged passers by.

Making a lizard was a family affair.

Making sea jewellery threading shells onto twine.


Making a beautiful singing mermaid in a starfish garden with treasure trove engaged these young girls all day







'Inca' Inspiration

The artworks were interactive as whole families ran around the spirals all day.


Children listened to Welsh songs and Sea Shanties by Artist/Musician Lynne Denman as they worked on their sculptures.

Lynne on her stage with the singing mermaid in the foreground.


A beautiful sea horse with shell patterned tail, feathered wings and seaweed mane.



The scale of the Neptune Head sculpture was impressive and took a lot of digging all day. Neptune the Sea God looked out to sea all day bringing a good omen to the festival



Elaborate sand race track was a winner with these youngsters.






The Neptune head sculpture changed during the day with different groups adding a beard and moustache, etc. As the sand dried out, his hair changed colour but kept the wonderful textures, created by carefully dripping wet sand onto the form, a technique enjoyed by all!


A whale emerges from the sand

A turtle heading out to sea.

The second day of the festival on the 15th was unfortunately beset with bad weather and torrential rain all day. However, the artists spent the morning in Franco's Cafe with youngsters who had still turned up to the festival, making drawings of marine creatures they wished to create later. A short break in the rain enabled us to work on the beach with a local family creating a large octopus and some labarynthal raked designs, as well as giant sea gull footprints!

Sample of Participants' comments at the Aberavon Beach Festival:-

We will be more ambitious with sand fun in the future. The festival was great for the kids. Rachel, Callum and Hannah Ferry

The festival brought families together and the enhanced our creativity. Dylan Lewis

Festival was definitely worthwhile as it gave parents a different idea of how to have fun in the fresh air. Crystal Holmes

Our creativity was encouraged. The children learnt about the world they live in. Action for Children group

Our creativity was enhanced through the festival as it made us think! Ryan and Rhys


The artists showed us how you can make things without money. The festival was a really wonderful experience. Dennis and Rowan

We brought 6 children and they all had a brilliant day out. Cerys and Chloe Selby and 4 friends.

It was a good event for the children. Wiktoria and Artur Nesta

At the festival we found out that a lizard is local but endangered. Martine Millon

I enjoyed working with Dad and an artist. Rhys and Niamh Churm

The festival encouraged outdoor play. Zac and Lewis

It was educational and fun. Leah, Riley, Maggie and Andrew Henderson

The festival shaped our ideas and brought an awareness of the environment around us. Lovely day. Olivia and Prasanna

Thank you to our kind sponsors:-


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