Photographer's Note

I HEAR THOSE VOICES THAT WILL NOT BE DROWNED. On Aldeburgh's beach, a short distance north of the town centre, stands a sculpture, The Scallop, dedicated to Benjamin Britten, who used to walk along the beach in the afternoons. Created from stainless steel by Suffolk-based artist Maggi Hambling, it stands four metres high, and was unveiled in November 2003. The piece is made up of two interlocking scallop shells, each broken, the upright shell being pierced with the words: "I hear those voices that will not be drowned", which are taken from Britten's opera Peter Grimes. The sculpture is meant to be enjoyed both visually and tactilely, and people are encouraged to sit on it and watch the sea. Approached along the road from the Thorpeness direction it has a totally different silhouette appearing to be a knight on a rearing charger.
The sculpture is controversial in the local area. Many people consider that it is inappropriate for a man-made object to spoil a beautiful natural setting. It has been attacked with graffiti and paint on a number of occasions, and there have been petitions to have it removed.Maggi Hambling CBE (born 23 October 1945 in Sudbury, Suffolk is an English painter and sculptor. Perhaps her best known public works are a memorial to Oscar Wilde in central London and Scallop, a 4 metre high steel sculpture of two interlocking scallop shells on Aldeburgh beach dedicated to Benjamin Britten. Both works have proved controversial.
Hambling studied at the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing from 1960 under Cedric Morris, then at Ipswich School of Art (1962–4), Camberwell (1964-7), and finally the Slade School of Art graduating in 1969. In 1980, Hambling became the first Artist in Residence at the National Gallery, London, during which she produced a series of portraits of the comedian Max Wall. Wall responded to Hambling's request to paint him with a note saying: "Re: painting little me, I am flattered indeed - what colour?" Yvonne Drewey, her art teacher at Amberfield School, described her as being her "pride and joy".
Hambling is well known as a portraitist with several works in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Her style tends towards the expressionistic, with some portraits completed during live sittings and others painted later, partly from memory. In the 1980s, she turned more to painting landscapes, most especially of the area around Suffolk where she lives. More recently her canvases have been more abstract, often including highlights of vivid colour, in particular her dramatic Seascapes of the North Sea.
In 1995, she was awarded the Jerwood Painting Prize along with Patrick Caulfield. In the same year she was awarded an OBE for her services to painting.

Hambling, A Conversation with Oscar Wilde (1998), green granite and bronze, Adelaide Street, near Trafalgar Square, London
Hambling is openly lesbian and her choice of subjects for portraits over the years has included many other openly gay people, such as Derek Jarman, George Melly, Stephen Fry and Quentin Crisp. In 1998 and in 2006, she collaborated with IAP Fine Art, London, to publish editions of silk-screen prints of her portraits of Jarman, Melly and Fry (launched by Stephen Fry and George Melly) to raise money for the Terrence Higgins Trust, helping people with HIV and AIDS. In the late 1990s Hambling had an intimate relationship with the 'Soho beauty' Henrietta Moraes as Moraes' life was drawing to a close. Hambling described her as her muse.SEE WORKSHOP.

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Additional Photos by Iain Richardson (RhodieIke) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 835 W: 1 N: 2666] (11744)
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