It’s coast to coast for beach artist

dr geebers and seagull sculpture
dr geebers and seagull sculpture

HE’S walked thousands of miles and lifted tons of stones to create art around the coastline of Britain.

This is Dr Geeber, a man who left Brighton two years ago and began a unique homelessness awareness journey, walking down to Cornwall, up the west coast of England, around Scotland, and then back down again.

He’s almost reached the end of his particular path but during this time has slept out every single night, staying on beaches where he created something of meaning to the places he has visited.

He arrived in Bexhill on Monday and was not intending to stay, but liked the colour of the pebbles so much he started work on a 3D seagull followed by a sculpture reflecting the town’s motoring history.

“I left Brighton on May 2009,” he told the Observer.

“I have walked right around the coast. I’ve had no sponsorship, no funding, nothing, so I used my art to get me round.

“I am funded by what I am doing on the beach, and the people I meet can’t believe what I do. I want to write a book about this journey and walking the coast and creating sculptures all the way around. I thought this was a good idea to put stuff back into society.

“I was not going to stop here but I saw the vibrant colour of these pebbles and thought it would be awesome to do something with them.”

It is hard physical work putting together his sculptures and he needs a painstaking eye for detail.

“That’s why I am called Dr...people tell me it must take ages to do, and I tell them that’s okay because I have lots of patience.”

Dr Geeber, 35, has been seen the best and worst of people on his travels - he has been shown kindness such as from the young couple who bought him sausages and chips for supper on Monday night, yet he has also had his tent set on fire and thrown stones at by those who did not want him around.

“Bikers come to me, punks come to me, and they’ve helped me out in different ways. All the people you would not expect to come and give help have come and given me help, and yet there are others who have set fire to my sleeping bag, thrown bottles which bounced off my head, I’ve seen violence you wouldn’t believe. It is rotten...I try to live a humane life but they look at you as a piece of scum.”

He’s been through extreme weather conditions having endured two winters sleeping rough and in Saltburn-By-The-Sea it was as cold as minus 21 degrees. That, and the walking and constant lifting of stones has taken a heavy toll on his fitness, and he claims he has collapsed nine times on the beach.

On his way round he has been interviewed by no fewer than 26 local newspaper reporters. He has created so much interest that now he has on Facebook 1,600 followers and this week posted that he was in Bexhill working on a sports car to signify his presence in the birthplace of British motoring.

His favourite creation so far has been the 35ft lobster he created in Norfolk, and of all of Britain he says Sheringham was his favourite place to stay.

He is now close to the end of his journey and plans to write, expand his art and also work on his poetry. Having travelled around the nation he is planning to stop at Eastbourne before making his last stop in Brighton, where he plans a sculpture reflecting Mods in keeping with the seaside town back in the 60s.

He said: “I am so close to the end but I am so far from the end too. It is going to be a hard stage now. Everyone will say - you think you do art now, but it’s a walking tour at the end of the day.

“Am I really an artist? If I really am then other artists will contact me.

“I am doing this for survival.”