Decide Before The Tide

Decide Before the Tide By Jessica Gill ...

Decide Before The Tide

An interactive Monument which celebrates the history of Democracy and the Art of Conversation, to be used by anyone to enjoy the right to debate in spectacular surroundings.

‘Decide Before the Tide’ will be secured to the seabed so that it appears and disappears with the tide.

The monument will be the first of its kind.  It will be a National Landmark for the town and attract local, national and international tourists.

This Heritage is enshrined in our constitution by way of Acts of Parliament, court judgments and conventions.   The Petition of Rights, leading to the bill of rights vigorously asserted the rights of the subject and is often seen as parallel in importance with Magna Carta itself.  The Magna Carta sowed the seed of democracy, The Petition of Rights caused change that resulted in the Civil War, ended the Divine Right of Kings and created the democratic society we know today.

The interactive installation will become renowned for settling disputes, finding solutions and making peace whatever the subject matter; the quirkiness of the concept will hopefully bring a light-hearted theme to any debate. If you are interested in having this interactive sculpture on your beach, please contact us.

Decide before the Tide Picture 1 Decide before the Tide Picture 2 Decide before the Tide Picture 3 Decide before the Tide Picture 4 Decide before the Tide Picture 5 Decide before the Tide Picture 6 Decide before the Tide Picture 7 Aerial View of Decide before the Tide Drawing of Decide before the Tide Monument to Democracy

'Time and Tide Wait for No Man....' 

The installation comprises a round table surrounded by a circular bench, leaving room for one single chair. The structures are fixed to the seabed and therefore are only visible when the tide is out.

A Committee sits on the bench and the Petitioners use the lone chair. The scene is set, a decision is needed, all sides of the debate are represented, the Petitioners petition, the Committee votes. A decision must be taken before the tide comes in….

This installation serves as an excellent medium to educate young people about their right to free speech and to highlight how measured and constructive communication can work. It will become an educational destination point for school visits. Creating a platform, in a unique setting for children to learn about a wide range of subjects to include politics, history, geography, art and design.  It will have a host of uses for the local community, from team building events for companies, helping to settle disputes between neighbours, the study of nature and wildlife, to simply sharing a picnic!


Trinity House Coastal Defence has agreed its feasability and has outlined the need to warn others of its presence at high tide.  The design incorporates 3 post placed in a triangular formation around the table.  These posts will be visible at high tide and will act as markers to sea users to the position of the table.

The table will be made from aluminum bronze and greenheart posts, which is the wood used on piers.  The posts will be driven 2m into the seabed. This combination will last the longest in salt water and still be aesthetically beautiful. The metal rich in copper will repel barnacles.  However the wooden legs will become a haven for them.  Over time it will turn black.  The chair is styled to resemble a pearl.

In the centre of the table is a sea urchin like mound.  This mound has openings at its base, which are in fact tapering pipes to the top.  When waves hit the mound, water is forced up the pipes and creates a fountain.

Structural engineers and specialist construction companies will oversee the process of manufacturing.  The main structure will be cast. This professional team has ensured how best to manufacture and secure the table and chairs to the seabed. The structure has been designed to offer the least resistance. 


The Oxford Union Letter


It is important that all people will be able to use and enjoy the installation.  To this end, we intend to ensure it is accessible to disabled people.

Once the table has been installed there will be a two-fold approach to engage people to use it.  One will be on site, the other off site.

On site program

We aim to involve local schools in a series of debates to develop their skills of public speaking, writing to persuade in literacy and their understanding of local heritage issues that impact on the region today. Schools and youth organisations would be able to select their topic to debate, but not which side of the argument they have to defend and would be paired against similar schools in the first rounds. These would be: local Prep schools, Primary schools, Secondary State, Independent schools, Language Schools, Tertiary Colleges & Youth Groups. There would be a ‘league table’ so that schools winning the first round progress onto the next, where they may be against an older or different sector.  The finale would be between the two most successful schools/organisations – with all the schools reappearing together in a runner’s-up event debating their local heritage unlike the previous debating challenge.

Off Site Program

Encouraging schools to visit the monument, bringing the ethos behind the monument into the school through a short film 'The Grand Debate' which will be filmed on location at the table. This film will be published on the website for anyone to watch or download. Our aim is to encourage debate, participation & creativity in the classroom through the exploration of democracy.

There will be a website called Decide Before the Tide, which will be accessible by the engagement programs to upload the results of their endeavours.  The website will also have the history of the table with a short film of its inception, manufacture and installation.  Social media will be used to broadcast all events.