Suffolk

Orford Ness pebble turned into giant artworks for Aldeburgh Festival

  • 23 June 2014
  • From the section Suffolk
Untitled Landscapes by Anya Gallaccio Image copyright Owain Thomas
Image caption The photographs have been displayed on Orford Ness, which is accessible by National Trust boat

An artist has turned a single bomb-damaged pebble from Suffolk's "top secret" beach into giant works of art.

The pebble was from Orford Ness - the shingle spit which was a secret military testing area for most of the 20th Century.

Anya Gallaccio has taken close-up magnified photographs of the pebble, which have been enlarged and installed at Orford Ness and at Snape Maltings.

She aimed to show the "traumatic" history of the site.

Image copyright Anya Gallaccio
Image caption Anya Gallaccio said she was "intrigued" by the unstable Orford Ness, which is subject to erosion
Image caption The 'pagodas' on Orford Ness were used to test nuclear weapons technology during the Cold War

Orford Ness suffers from erosion and visitors to the site, which was taken over by the National Trust in 1993, are warned to stay on designated paths which have been checked and cleared of unexploded ordnance.

Gallaccio was given a single pebble which was believed to have been damaged during a controlled explosion.

'Mysterious landscape'

She smashed it up further before taking pictures of it.

"I was drawn to Orford Ness and its mysterious and beautiful landscape," she said.

"The shingle and the weather make the landmass unstable, which intrigued me, as does its secret history.

"The images are of these grains magnified tens of thousands of times - they are a response to the essence of the place and its traumatic history."

The photos are being exhibited as part of the Snap art exhibition at the Aldeburgh Festival until 29 June.

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