The creativity of author, designer, broadcaster Ben Arogundade

Nature’s Beauty: My Oyster Shell Artwork Projects: Making Photographic Canvas Wall Art Paintings From Ageing Oyster Ornaments

ANCIENT OYSTER SHELLS that wash up on the beach in Eastbourne, southern England have been repurposed as photographic paintings in my forthcoming ocean artwork book projects. By Ben Arogundade. Mar. 20, 2023.

Ocean nature beauty seaside art oyster shell art canvas iridescent colour
Ocean nature beauty seaside art oyster shell art canvas iridescent colour

OYSTER SHELL ART: These decorated artwork canvasses are both paintings and pieces of sculpture. My oyster shell projects will feature them in a forthcoming book and series of wall-hung artworks.

The sea is the Earth’s oldest and most powerful force. It is also its most creative. Oyster shells that live and die in the ocean provide blank canvasses for startling artworks that resemble paintings and pieces of ornamental sculpture, all of which are created by the relentless motion of the sea. This is what I discovered in Eastbourne, on England’s south coast, where I moved during the coronavirus pandemic, in search of a life closer to nature. 


What I found strewn along the beach were wild oyster shells that had been eroded by the sea over many years. They had been sculpted and colourised by its relentless ebb and flow until transformed into pocket-sized pieces of art, which then washed up the beach, like paintings imprinted upon canvasses in the art gallery of the great outdoors. I was mesmerised by the creativity within the oyster art. Their beauty was in their decay. Their deterioration was their perfection. 


I started collecting these oyster artworks, and decided to turn them into a book project. I began photographing the oyster canvasses with my iPhone, right there on the beach, or at home. One day I got the idea of photographing the oyster shell artwork while immersed in the flowing waters of the sea. The result was magical. The art seemed to liquify under the fast-moving waters, and the colours became iridescent, making the artworks look like intense paintings. 


As I discovered and photographed one oyster art canvas after another, I began to wonder — how did all this incredible oyster shell art come to be? Is it all accident — or are the paintings the work of a “Creator”? Could it be that nature spirits are present within the sea, as has been suggested for millennia within folklore and religious writing? 

It’s a mystery — one I will be exploring in my forthcoming book on oyster shell art. Sign-up for my newsletter for further details.

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Hi there. I am a London-based author, journalist and broadcaster Discover more about me and my work at Ben Arogundade bio.

Ocean nature beauty seaside art oyster shell art canvas iridescent colour
Ocean nature beauty seaside art oyster shell art canvas iridescent colour

OYSTER SHELL CANVAS PAINTINGS: When old oyster shells are immersed in seawater, the artwork takes on the aesthetic of abstract paintings.

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