Thank you to everyone who contributed to Beach of Dreams 2021, it was a huge feat of collaboration to complete this creative walk.


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


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

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 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 use. 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 Cultura 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


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 support and film: Rosa Production

Audio interviews: John Offord

Film: John-Martin White

Film: Fotis Begklis

Photography & video shorts: Mike Johnston

Photography: Mark Massey


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


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


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

Images on page (c) Mark Massey