Shifting Sands, Etched in Time

‘Shifting Sands, Etched in Time’  is an Art Branches project set on the stunning coastline of Dunwich Heath. 

The Suffolk Coast is a frontier landscape where the North Sea recycles land, a process which has been happening for millions of years. Dunwich was chosen as the location for ‘Shifting Sands, Etched in Time’ and the beach became the base camp for exploration.

The flint-rich Westleton beds of the Norwich Crag formation, laid down 1.8 million years ago are dramatically exposed at Dunwich, giving an inspirational setting for creative work. Ideas were translated onto canvas, through pebbles, textiles, song, voice, photography, paintings and film. A rich tapestry of creative work inspired by coastal erosion, the weather, feelings and the moment were collected on each day and some of this process is shown here:


It ran from May to October 2017 and aimed to improve health and wellbeing, by connecting people to their environment. The project was kindly funded by Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Council, NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG and administered by the East Coast Active Communities Fund.

Suffolk Young Carers aged 5-16 came on to the project, on different days, in a variety of weathers. Vulnerable adults from Access Community Trust and NSFT Rehabilitation and Recovery Service were also invited on the project and were supported by staff on a 1:1 basis. Short film made by carers can be viewed at

Feedback from Shifting Sands, Etched in Time:

“The project has offered the children the space to express themselves in a way which they often don’t have the freedom or resources to do so. For many whom attended, the session was a rare  opportunity to spend a day outside in the fresh air and to explore nature. It was lovely to see all of the young people engaging with the various creative opportunities, the flexible and adaptable nature of the activities and Art Branches staff who facilitated the sessions enabled the young people to feel comfortable and included throughout. Many of the young people attending became very reflective at the session and really opened up about their feelings to the Young Carer Advisers in attendance.” –Young Carers Project Manager, Suffolk Family Carers

“Many thanks to you and all of the Art Branches team who have provided such a positive and engaging activity for our young carers.” –Young Carers Project Manager, Suffolk Family Carers

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