Scallop of the East almost complete

THE final touches to a dramatic sculpture already dubbed 'The Scallop of the East' are under way.Artist and sculptor Maggi Hambling's 4m high tribute to composer Benjamin Britten is due to be unveiled on Aldeburgh beach at 12 noon on Saturday, November 8.

THE final touches to a dramatic sculpture already dubbed 'The Scallop of the East' are under way.

Artist and sculptor Maggi Hambling's 4m high tribute to composer Benjamin Britten is due to be unveiled on Aldeburgh beach at 12 noon on Saturday, November 8.

With less than three weeks to go, the final section of the giant steel sculpture, a vertical section of broken shell, is now being fixed into position at steel fabricators J T Pegg's of Aldeburgh where the work is being constructed.

The steel base, which will anchor it using the weight of the beach's shingle has now been made, ready for the two pieces to be fixed together.


You may also want to watch:


The work is to be unveiled by MP Chris Smith, the former culture secretary, who will formally present it to Suffolk Coastal District Council.

Ms Hambling, of Rendham, near Framlingham, said she and craftsmen Sam and Dennis Pegg are now concentrating on the detail of the work.

Most Read

Although aware of the comparison with the Angel of the North, she feels the two sculptures are very different.

The "monumentality" of the Angel sculpture was "very exciting", she said.

"The grandeur of it, the size of it is exciting and commanding."

However, her work was much more to do with movement, she said.

"It's quite, quite different. This piece is completely different. I find the Angel of the North a statement in steel whereas this is about movement and flow and one piece flowing into another and I want the piece to be exploding," she explained.

"It's about Britten's response to the sea, how out of that, from that place he made a very human statement with his music. It was full of light and dark, full of contrast, a very powerful statement. His music matches the power of the sea. This sculpture is meant to be a celebration of that response to the sea."

She also sees the sculpture as reflecting and responding to light from the sun, and has created a shiny base shell which contrasts with the burnished finish of the upright shell.

"I hope you find it optimistic, the way the eye is taken up into the sky and out to the horizon from the dark underneath it. The light on top and contrast is very important."

Sam Pegg said the sculpture had been "a lot of work", and admitted it had been hard to cut up the completed shells to create the broken effect which was required for the finished work.

"I think a lot more of it now it's getting finished. I was not very sure at the start but it's coming together very well now," he said.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter