A new wave of creatures at Porth y Swnt

Ivan Murray's seal sculpture on the beach at Aberdaron

To celebrate Porth y Swnt turning three years old, we wanted to develop parts of the centre to evolve the experience for our visitors.

Therefore in September 2016 we started looking for an innovative practice, collaboration or artist to help us enhance the visitor experience through creative interpretation. We appointed a local sculptor, Ivan Murray.

Behind the scenes

What do hares, porpoise, choughs, peregrines and grey seals have in common? Well not only are they magnificent creatures who all call Llŷn home, there is now a specially commissioned sculpture of each species within Porth y Swnt created by talented local sculptor Ivan Murray.

Ivan Murray's hare sculpture at Porth y Swnt
Ivan Murray's hare sculpture at Porth y Swnt

The peregrine, hare and chough were all created in clay built up over a metal armature. This was then used to create a silicone mould which was filled with resin to cast the final shape. As the seal and porpoise were much bigger (the aim was to create a life-sized representation of each species) the technique was a bit different. The internal mass was first created from wood board for the seal and Styrofoam for the porpoise and then it was a case of layering on polyester resin with slate fillers and pigments added to give colour and strength.

We’ll be continuing to work with Ivan over the next year to add new installations based on geology and agriculture to the experience at Porth y Swnt so watch this space.

Discover more

The habitats of Llŷn are rich in wildlife and we want to reflect this at Porth y Swnt. Hopefully the sculptures and accompanying map guide will inspire everyone to get out into the landscape in search of the species for themselves and whilst there discover some of the other wildlife wows the peninsula has to offer.