Home / Art / SculptureMesmerizing Pieces Reveal the Textured Beauty of Thousands of Found Seashells

Mesmerizing Pieces Reveal the Textured Beauty of Thousands of Found Seashells

Seashell Sculptures by Rowan Mersh

“Asabikeshiinh Praegressus” 2017, 40cm x 60cm x 48cm. Sliced Turritella Shells, Fluorocarbon. Image: Frankie Pike, courtesy of Gallery Fumi

London-based multimedia sculptor Rowan Mersh creates mesmerizing textural artworks with seashells. By meticulously arranging thousands of the same type of shell, each of Mersh’s wall-mounted and stand-alone sculptures capture the organic material’s natural beauty. Although seashells are physically solid, the artist often manages to capture their delicacy by achieving a soft, ruffled fabric effect.

Conscious of his environmental impact, Mersh sources the seashells from sustainable shellfish farmers and harvesters from around the world. Each shell has its own unique surface pattern and colors, made up of speckles and swirls, and perforations. Ranging in various shapes and sizes—such as the unicorn horn-like duplicata shell and the iridescent, flat oyster discs—Mersh arranges each tiny shell one by one, creating elegant structures that mimic the organic patterns and shapes found in nature.

“On beginning a new project I first make a small sample to understand how best to work with the material,” explains Mersh. “My aim with every project is to expose the true and often hidden beauty of the material I am working with and I feel this is only possible by listening to the material from day one.”

Represented by London’s Gallery FUMI, Mersh regularly exhibits his work around the world. His sculptures have also been acquired by renowned public collections worldwide, including the V&A. You can see more of the artist’s work on his website.

London-based multimedia artist Rowan Mersh creates mesmerizing textural sculptures made from thousands of seashells.

Seashell Sculptures by Rowan Mersh

“Asabikeshiinh Praegressus” 2017, 40cm x 60cm x 48cm. Sliced Turritella Shells, Fluorocarbon. Image: Frankie Pike, courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Seashell Sculptures by Rowan Mersh

“Pithváva Praegressus I” 2017, 40cm x 21cm x 27.5cm. Dentalium Shells. Image: Courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Seashell Sculptures by Rowan Mersh

“Pithváva Praegressus I” 2017, 40cm x 21cm x 27.5cm. Dentalium Shells. Image: Courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Seashell Sculptures by Rowan Mersh

“Pithváva Praegressus I” 2017, 40cm x 21cm x 27.5cm. Dentalium Shells. Image: Courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Ranging in various shapes, sizes, and colors, the artist arranges each tiny shell one by one, resulting in structures that mimic the organic patterns found in nature.

Seashell Sculptures by Rowan Mersh

“Asabikeshiinh V” 2017, 155cm x 137cm x 0.07cm. Sliced Doxander Vittatus Shells, Fluorocarbon. Image: Lesley Lau, courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Seashell Sculptures by Rowan Mersh

“Asabikeshiinh V” 2017, 155cm x 137cm x 0.07cm. Sliced Doxander Vittatus Shells, Fluorocarbon. Image: Lesley Lau, courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Seashell Sculptures by Rowan Mersh

“Asabikeshiinh V” 2017, 155cm x 137cm x 0.07cm. Sliced Doxander Vittatus Shells, Fluorocarbon. Image: Lesley Lau, courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Seashell Sculptures by Rowan Mersh

“Pithváva Praegressus II” 2017, 30cm x 19cm x 17cm. Dentalium Shells. Image: Courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Seashell Sculptures by Rowan Mersh

“Pithváva Praegressus II” 2017, 30cm x 19cm x 17cm. Dentalium Shells. Image: Courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Seashell Sculptures by Rowan Mersh

“Pithváva Praegressus III” 2017, 17cm x 16cm x 15cm. Dentalium Shells. Image: Courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Seashell Sculptures by Rowan Mersh

“Pithváva Praegressus III” 2017, 17cm x 16cm x 15cm. Dentalium Shells. Image: Courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Although seashells are physically solid, the artist manages to capture their delicacy by achieving a soft, ruffled fabric effect.

Seashell Sculptures by Rowan Mersh

“Placuna Praegressus Mini” 2017, 29cm x 17cm x 20cm. Windowpane Oyster Shells. Image: Courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Seashell Sculptures by Rowan Mersh

“Placuna Praegressus Mini” 2017, 29cm x 17cm x 20cm. Windowpane Oyster Shells. Image: Courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Seashell Sculpture “Placuna Praegressus Mini” 2017, H29 x 17 x 20cm. Windowpane Oyster Shells s by Rowan Mersh

“Placuna Praegressus Mini” 2017, 29cm x 17cm x 20cm. Windowpane Oyster Shells. Image: Courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Seashell Sculptures by Rowan Mersh

“Echinothrix Imaginem Sui” 2017. 125cm x 80cm x 27cm. Tiger Sea Urchin Spines. Image: Frankie Pike, courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Seashell Sculptures by Rowan Mersh

“Echinothrix Imaginem Sui” 2017. 125cm x 80cm x 27cm. Tiger Sea Urchin Spines. Image: Frankie Pike, courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Seashell Sculptures by Rowan Mersh

“Echinothrix Imaginem Sui” 2017. 125cm x 80cm x 27cm. Tiger Sea Urchin Spines. Image: Frankie Pike, courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Seashell Sculptures by Rowan Mersh

“Echinothrix Imaginem Sui” 2017. 125cm x 80cm x 27cm. Tiger Sea Urchin Spines. Image: Frankie Pike, courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Seashell Sculpture “Placuna Praegressus Mini” 2017, H29 x 17 x 20cm. Windowpane Oyster Shells s by Rowan Mersh

“Placuna Pro Dilectione Mia II” 2018, 92cm x 9cm. Windowpane Oyster Shells. Image: Lesley Lau, courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Seashell Sculpture “Placuna Praegressus Mini” 2017, H29 x 17 x 20cm. Windowpane Oyster Shells s by Rowan Mersh

“Placuna Pro Dilectione Mia II” 2018, 92cm x 9cm. Windowpane Oyster Shells. Image: Lesley Lau, courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Seashell Sculpture “Placuna Praegressus Mini” 2017, H29 x 17 x 20cm. Windowpane Oyster Shells s by Rowan Mersh

“Placuna Pro Dilectione Mia II” 2018, 92cm x 9cm. Windowpane Oyster Shells. Image: Lesley Lau, courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Seashell Sculpture “Placuna Praegressus Mini” 2017, H29 x 17 x 20cm. Windowpane Oyster Shells s by Rowan Mersh

“Placuna Pro Dilectione Mia II” 2018, 92cm x 9cm. Windowpane Oyster Shells. Image: Lesley Lau, courtesy of Gallery Fumi

Rowan Mersh: Website

My Modern Met granted permission to use images by Rowan Mersh.

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