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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

All Gone - December, 2011

Final photo from James, taken late 2011. Looks as if a few of the flat liner rocks are still lying around, but otherwise no trace of the sofa.

This is how it looked the day I built it.

Monday, October 31, 2011

More from James - 31 October, 2011 - Sign gone...

Long gap with no new photos... then this from James, who went back to see what had happened to the sofa after recent southerly gales with the highest tides of the month:

Notice that the sign has gone, presumably washed away, although it's possible someone took it. That must be why nobody new has sent in photos recently...  Sand now covers the seat and the waves have moved some of the liner rocks around, but the structure is unchanged. The stick still sitting on the back suggests that the waves only washed around the sofa and did not break over it. The plank that James added a few weeks ago is now behind the sofa; moved by waves - or humans? 
More pictures below.
Thanks James!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

From Robert, 17 October, 2011

Picture of cat - hope you like it! 
Yes I do. Playful alterations/additions are all good.

Robert also sent this overall picture. Not sure if he did the feathers. The plank that James installed seems to be gone. Or maybe this was taken a couple of weeks ago, before James' visit? Not sure what that cloth is at the front right...

Friday, October 7, 2011

More from James - 5 October, 2011

Looking at the seaweed and the texture of the sand in this photo it's clear that storm waves do reach the sofa. So far it seems to be withstanding them.  I'm glad I'm too far away to be tempted to go back and fix it up. Random reports and interventions are best.  --  Ben

Good afternoon Ben

Yes the plank seemed to almost be made for the sofa and fitted without disruption to any of the original installation.

I really love your work by the way.  The 'Expats views of England'  are particularly provoking for me. You photograph the views, which are random and often a juxtaposition of one-another, with possibly an eye that only someone looking from the outside (in the expat sense!) could achieve I think.  They are beautiful but also I find some a little 'mocking' of our small island life which is all the more provoking for it.  I can even recognise some of the image locations which gives them a personal feel to me but would love to know all the rest of the locations.

I am a regular monthly visitor to the sofa beach so I will continue to record the, sadly, inevitable destruction of your art as our all powerful neighbour the sea claims back what is rightfully hers. As you probably know the tides determine the ability of people to view this art of yours which probably explains, as well as the remoteness,  the sporadic nature of the feedback you have had so far. 

A South Westerly storm is blowing  and the rain pours down right now and it feels strange that your work is left lonely and exposed to the elements on this dark Autumnal night. It would be very cool indeed to get some shots of it in the dark on this evening but the tides would not allow right now.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

James - October 5, 2011

Hello mystery sofa builders. Despite the waves following the spring tides your work survives and flourishes. I added a driftwood plank on the seating area (better for cold bums). Is there a website where I can track changes?

I love the idea and badged the sofa accordingly.


Mark, 1 October, 2011

Dr. R. - September 18, 2011


More from Emily - 14 September 2011

Hello Ben
  my 'companion' is my husband Jon... we had gone down to the beach to cook our dinner whilst enjoying the sunshine.  like you we were the only ones on the beach.

We live locally...  (approx 5 miles away) and regularly visit this beach (often cycling there) as we prefer it to the nearby busy touristy beaches.  Like you that day we got our timings a little out and ended up having to almost swim back to the main beach?! we have had many a summer night camping with friends on this beach, collecting driftwood for fire, cooking our sausages on sticks.

We love this beach as it is great for snorkelling and has a perfect set of rocks for jumping in.  They form a giant rockpool out to sea which is filled at high tide and has shear rocks - perfect for the brave.  it also has a third bay which is only accessible at low tide through a cave.  hopefully you discovered this? 

Good luck with the project.

Kind Regards


Mike - 9 September, 2011


err – sorry about this. As usual, the moment I turned my back, Roo and Evie got comfy on your sofa!

Really neat idea though – love it!!


More from Meloney, 5 September, 2011

hello ben

your more than welsome to use the photos and i have no objection to you using our names. We were down there about a week and a half ago on the sunday. its one of our favourite beaches in the area. i dont know if you got a chance while you were down there but at the very low tide you can go through the next cave onto a 3rd beach which is even more stunning.

My name is meloney my other half is joel and our dog is molly. we live in ... and seem to end up at the beach most weekends, on that perticulare day I think it was the last day of the school summer holiday (also a bank holiday) and seeing as the sun was out (which is a rarity in itself) we thought [X] would be a safe bet to get away from the holiday makers. your right people never seem to adventure to the beach- i dont think most know how to get to it without going over the cliff paths (which we nick name 'heart attack hill').


cheers mel

Meloney, 4 September 2011


attached as requested. would love to know more about your project?

cheers mel

Emily - 5 September, 2011

Fantastic location - could have done with a few pillows!!

Simon - Return Visit, 4 September, 2011

Hi Ben

I hope you are well, been back a couple of times now to the Dream Sofa and today remembered the camera, it looks as if it has been well used, but it is still holding up well despite the early signs of Autumn.

Tony - 27 August 2011

Hi there,

I found your amazing Dream Sofa today!
Wow! This thing is the best environmental sculpture I’ve ever seen.

Didn’t have a great camera with me but got some snaps (low res attached) – feel free to use them for anything.
Just shout if you’d like any as higher res.

How long did it take you to build – are there more around??


First Response - Simon

Note: I'm editing these responses to remove last names and geographical clues. Participants will be invited to join a contact group soon. -- Ben

From Simon,  17 August, 2011

Hello There

Just wanted to thank you for your timely gift you were able to provide me with yesterday at [X] Beach.

I set off from home with a drawing to go to [X] for some obscure reason (synchronicity), noting it was low tide, with the potential to be able to walk around and sit on the little beach and meditate on the next stage of my journey.

I was suffering from writers block and not having enough inspiration to continue to write, from a number of days typing away at my first manuscript, 'Becoming A Butterfly'.

My walk took me down the track past the farm, the coot and the mallard, past half a dozen Red Admirals, any number of Gatekeepers, a Speckled Wood or two, numerous Large Whites and a rather special Small Tortoiseshell.

I stumbled across the main beach around the rocks an hour after low and up on to the little beach, desperate for a place to sit, drawn to that small patch of ground, on turning the corner I was overjoyed to see your masterpiece lying on the sand.

I used it, I did not change it, I sat on it, from various angles, I put my feet up and I dosed for 3/4s of an hour, I mused on the view, I watched two cormorants sit like sentinels on the rock, a third lay as the rocks across the bay, They were there to give me clarity of my situation and help me dive into the goal I have ahead of me, as well as other things too I would imagine.

I did not have my camera with me, otherwise I would have taken a picture of me sat there musing. My headache disappeared, my block crumbled, I felt refreshed.

My return journey was more joyous, past the Small Tortoiseshell and all of his distant relatives, back past the coot, the mallard and the farm, to home.

Keep doing what you do, it is delightful and I hope people's musings such as my own, inspire you onward. I watched a timely video at Haldon Forest the week before on David Nash work out in nature, of wooden boulders and the like, your dream sofa is up there with it. Keep carrying on, keep inspiring.

Thanks very much it was just what I needed.

Kind regards