The Sea People


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.

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.

Beach of Dreams 2021 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


All imagery on page (c) Mike Johnston unless otherwise stated


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