Sea Music

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Anthony Caro ‘Sea Music’ © The Roche Court Educational Trust



Anthony Caro ‘Sea Music’ © The Roche Court Educational Trust

The Sea Music education programme is to celebrate Sir Anthony Caro’s sculpture of the same name, situated in the town of Poole. ‘Sea Music’ (1991) is the only publicly commissioned site-specific sculpture by the artist and is situated on Poole Quay.

Poole Museum have invited The Roche Court Educational Trust to co-deliver the ‘Sea Music’ Schools Programme. Educational activities will support plans from Poole Museum and the New Art Centre for a major restoration of the sculpture and an exhibition in May 2017.

Borough of Poole Museum service has been awarded a development grant from Heritage Lottery Funds to support this work.

‘Sea Music’ Press Release

More information about ‘Sea Music’ via Poole Museum website


Canford Heath Junior School pupils visiting the sculpture © The Roche Court Educational Trust

Schools and Young People’s Programme

We have been invited by Poole Museum to lead the schools and young people’s programme due to our specialist knowledge and skills in modern and contemporary art.

By focusing interpretation initially on the sculpture, the context and landscape implicit in its conception and construction can be celebrated. We are currently working with a range of partners including SoundStorm Music Education, Pavilion Dance South West and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra to deliver projects to young people.

Poole MuseumSoundstorm PDSW-Logo- thumbnailBournemouth+Symphony+Orchestra Poole Borough



The learning programme has been generously supported by Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England.



Explore Sea Music with your family or school

Sea Music Family and Primary School Trail

We have created an educational, fun and interactive trail for families and primary school aged children which can be used to explore the sculpture at its site on Poole Quay.

Download your FREE copy of the Sea Music Trail Pack


Sea Music Teachers’ Pack

We have also produced a user-friendly Teachers’ Pack offering a range of ideas about how exploration of the sculpture both at the site and back in school can support children’s learning in a range of subjects.

Download your FREE copy of the Sea Music Teacher Pack

These resources were made possible by the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England will enable a continual and sustained focus on the sculpture, its importance for Poole and its cultural heritage and the environment.


Fanfare for Caro

'Fanfare for Caro' sharing event at Poole High School, July 2017 © The Roche Court Educational Trust

‘Fanfare for Caro’ sharing event at Poole High School, July 2017 © The Roche Court Educational Trust

‘Fanfare for Caro’ involved students taking part in art workshops at Poole High School, Winton and Glenmoor Academies and St Edwards School, led by artists Olivia Bax and Neil Ayling, who have been assistants to Anthony Caro in his lifetime and continue to work for Barford Studios, where Anthony Caro made the majority of his artworks. Both are artists in their own right.

The workshops were an introduction to Anthony Caro and ‘Sea Music.’ Explorations and research into this particular sculpture provided the foundations to consider the artist’s processes and the logistics of creating a public artwork,  in order for the students to then design and propose a hypothetical artwork for chosen locations in Poole. Excerpts of Jim Aitchison’s new musical score inspired by ‘Sea Music’ were used to aid the students’ designs and ideas.

The workshops culminated in a sharing event at Poole High School in July 2017.

Watch a short film about this part of the project:

Sculpture into Song

120 primary school pupils use the sculpture to create their own choral song


Canford Heath pupils on ‘Sea Music’ © The Roche Court Educational Trust

Since 2015 pupils from Canford Heath Junior School have been working with Soundstorm and the Roche Court Educational Trust on a special   project to explore the sculpture.

The project has brought together the creative processes of looking at art and composing new music by taking the students’ personal observations, interpretations and understanding of the sculpture and using these words and phrases to create a new choral song.

All students have worked with musician Katie Sayles to translate their lyrics into a melody and rehearsed their newly composed music together as a whole group at the school.

Canford Heath School pupils

Canford Heath School pupils © The Roche Court Educational Trust

‘The Sea Music project, which the children at Canford Heath Infants School took part in, was a really inspiring project. From the beginning we wanted this to be a cross-curriculum project, incorporating speaking and listening, literacy, art and design, ICT and music. Visiting the ‘Sea  Music’ sculpture on Poole Quay enabled the children to not only develop their understanding of what sculpture is and how it fits into our local environment, but also provided them with a rich vocabulary to be able to talk about sculpture. Whilst visiting the sculpture the children had the opportunity to do some sketching and take photographs of it and then back at school they were able to use a computer programme to digitally manipulate these images. They also created the words and music for a song about the sculpture and then performed this to the rest of the school. At the end of year 2, when the children were leaving to go to a new school, many of the children said that the Sea Music project was the best experience they had ever had!’

Liz Preston, Class Teacher

The performance on Tuesday 22 November triumphantly concludes the ‘Sculpture into Song’ project and marks the 25th Anniversary of when ‘Sea Music’ was first unveiled to the public.

The performance was generously supported by The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust.DCT  logo


Canford Heath Junior School performance to celebrate 25th Anniversary of ‘Sea Music’ © The Roche Court Educational Trust

Listen to the children singing the song:

Watch the children’s performance at the 25th Anniversary of ‘Sea Music’ event, 22 November 2016:

Sculpting Words


Haymoor Junior School pupils © The Roche Court Educational Trust

Sea Music drawing 2

Haymoor Junior school pupil drawing of ‘Sea Music’ © The Roche Court Educational Trust

The Roche Court Educational Trust worked with Haymoor Junior School to explore ‘Sea Music’ through personal observations, critical analysis and research.

All 90 pupils in Year 3 had the opportunity to take part in workshops at the site of the sculpture and through activities led by the Trust at Poole Museum. Following the workshops each class worked with their class teacher and one another to produce a collaborative poem about their experiences, findings and knowledge of the artist. The poems were then recited to the rest of the school at a special assembly.




Listen to the children reading their poems:

Read Haymoor Juniors ‘Sea Music’ Poems

COAST Youth Dance Company Project

COAST Youth Dance Company performance on Anthony Caro's 'Sea Music' sculpture © The Roche Court Educational Trust

COAST Youth Dance Company performance on Anthony Caro’s ‘Sea Music’ sculpture © The Roche Court Educational Trust

COAST Youth Dance Company research workshop © The Roche Court Educational Trust

COAST Youth Dance Company research workshop © The Roche Court Educational Trust

COAST, Pavilion Dance South West’s youth dance company, has been given the live brief to create their choreographic response to Anthony Caro’s ‘Sea Music’ sculpture, exhibited on Poole Quay. Working with a variety of visual arts and dance specialists, the young dancers have explored the artwork, their own interpretations and supportive research materials to devise their new work.

Watch the film about this project and the performance:

ARTiculation Discovery Day, 2014,

ARTiculation Discovery Day, 2014 © The Roche Court Educational Trust

ARTiculation Discovery Workshops   

ARTiculation Discovery workshops are being held to stimulate students’ interest and understanding of the sculpture, whilst developing individual thinking, observation, research, language and presentation skills.

Using the only publicly commissioned site-specific sculpture by the artist Anthony Caro, students from Lytchett Minster and Poole High School were invited to explore ‘Sea Music’ through personal observation, discussion and research. The day allowed students to research the artwork through archival materials and their own observations. Experts from Poole Museum and the Trust were on hand to offer support and shape oral presentations that were shared to an audience by the end of the day.

Watch one of the ARTiculation Discovery workshop presentations here:

Article about ‘Sea Music’ by ARTiculation alumni Molly Nickson

Photograph of Sea Music taken just after its construction in 1991 photo: Barford Sculptures /Anthony Caro archive © Barford Sculptures Ltd

Photograph of Sea Music taken just after its construction in 1991 photo: Barford Sculptures /Anthony Caro archive © Barford Sculptures Ltd

To celebrate the conservation of Anthony Caro’s ‘Sea Music’ on Poole Quay, 3rd Dimension, an online magazine and newsletter which is part of the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association, asked ARTiculation alumni Molly Nickson to share her thoughts on this publicly sited sculpture.

As an introduction to the article, Joanna Littlejohns, Head of ARTiculation shares Molly’s background and context in writing the article:

In 2013 Molly Nickson, a 17 year old student at Townley Grammar School, captivated an audience at the Saatchi Gallery with her discussion of Henry Moore’s public sculpture Standing Figure Knife Edge in Greenwich Park, South London. Molly’s personal, direct and analytical approach to a sculpture whose form gradually revealed itself to her, with every visit to her local park, saw her win first prize at the Finals of ARTiculation at Clare College, University of Cambridge.

Now a History of Art Undergraduate at the University of Oxford, Molly revisits public sculpture here in 3rd Dimension to discuss another of Britain’s most influential sculptors of the twentieth century, Sir Anthony Caro, on the eve of the reopening and restoration of Sea Music on the Quay at Poole in Dorset.

Read the full article here

A Lecture about ‘Sea Music’ by Stephen Feeke, Director of the New Art Centre

Please see here to watch a recording of the lecture Stephen Feeke gave at Poole Museum, Friday 6 September 2016 as part of Dorset Architectural Heritage week.

View the speeches made during the Sea Music celebration event on Saturday 13 May 2017: