Sea Shell Seats – Flaghead Chine


Client: Environmental Services, Borough of Poole

Location: Poole, United Kingdom

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $25,000

Project Team


Philip Bews Diane Gorvin

Sculpture for Public Sites

Landscape Architect

Barbara Uphoff

Landscape Designer, Environmental Services, Borough of Poole


Reuben Hawkwood

Project Manager, Environmental Services, Borough of Poole

Industry Resource

Graham Barber

Albion Stone


Funded by the Coastal Communities Fund this trio of Portland stone shell sculptures are the focal point of a new Seaside Garden at Flaghead Chine. They were commissioned by Barbara Uphoff Landscape Designer for the Borough of Poole. The garden is designed to connect the spectacular views through the wooded chine onto the beach and beyond to the Purbeck Hills.


The Seaside Garden offers younger visitors the opportunity for sensory & quiet play, and creates an inspirational meeting point for friends and family. The shells are a popular feature within the project.


After discussion with Barbara, Phil settled on an Ammonite, Whelk and Sea Urchin for the commission and proceeded to make the maquettes and detailed design drawings. We worked on the placement of the shells within the scheme with Barbara and Reuben Hawkward - the Project manager, by using a scale model of the garden that Barbara had made. Due to other work commitments, Phil arranged for Poole's Environmental Services to contract Albion Stone on Portland to carve the full sized shells - with Phil having a couple of site visits to check progress, he also worked at the Albion premises for a week to finish the forms, and carve the spiral on the ammonite and the star detail on the urchin.

Additional Information

We have recently discovered that the shells have become a place for people to come and sit and reflect in these difficult times. Hopefully remembering good times too. Poet Gail Aldwin was engaged to write a haiku for the project - More information about the Sea Garden can be viewed here -