As a child, I spent numerous summers with my family holidaying along the Red Sea Riviera. Famous for its ancient rock art and breathtaking ruins, it’s also where you’ll find some of Egypt’s best diving hotspots, and it’s where I first discovered the weird and wonderful sea urchin. These creatures have razor-sharp teeth that chomp through stone, carving out hideaways on rocky shores. They also have spiny shells smothered in spikes to ward off predators.
They look tough and aggressive, but every now and then their brittle spines break off to reveal pastel-coloured shells that come in soothing shades of amethyst, apricot and baby blue. To me, sea urchins represent the life cycle of transformation. They repeatedly regenerate. There’s something beautifully symbolic about that, something we’ve been trying to incorporate into our work at Hemmerle.
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