THE coastline of Dorset and Devon has transfixed and inspired artists for hundreds of years.

The latest celebration of its power and beauty is Jurassic Journey, a multimedia project that blends photography with sculpture and music to create a lasting and fitting tribute to the coastline.

The project has its world premiere at the Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis on Thursday.

It has been co-ordinated by Artsreach in Dorset and Villages in Action on the other side of the county divide and is spearheaded by the award-winning Shropshire-based photographer Ben Osborne, who has worked all over the world with Sir David Attenborough.

“Working in the UK is brilliant because there is such a fantastic variety of places to see and the Jurassic Coast is the most special piece of coastline and it was a privilege to be there,” he said. “There are so many things there and one of the most extraordinary things is that you can see geology and how it happened and the processes that shaped it.

“There is this amazing landscape created by the movement of the earth and by storms, rain and wind.

“It has been sculpted by natural forces over millions of years, hundreds of thousands of years and also overnight – if you look at the undercliff between Seatown and Lyme Regis where it crumbled away.

“And this also makes room for new wildlife and plants. It really is an amazing place.”

Dorset musician Sammy Hurden, artist Lal Hitchcock and Devon-based poet Matt Harvey have worked with Ben on the project. Sammy drew inspiration from various points along the coast, using the natural surroundings.

“At Dancing Ledge I recorded the puffins, which make this amazing guttural sound. But the caves at Beer were amazing – they have an atmosphere that is almost oppressive. You could almost hear the voices of the people who had quarried the caves for 2,000 years.”

Lal held workshops in Lulworth where she created temporary sculptures, later washed away by the tide.

She also created Cliff and Tilly, two figures created out of beachcombed goodies, who have become the official figureheads of Jurassic Journey.

Ben said: “I wasn’t initially sure how we could fit sculptures into the project, but then Lal and I took the figures for a day out in Lyme and sat them on a bench.

“People started coming up and asking about them and it turned out that Tilly and Cliff were the perfect example of what people do on holiday when they come to the coast.

“It crystallised what we were doing and what the project is all about.”

The launch of Jurassic Journey is at the Marine Theatre, Lyme, at 8pm on Thursday (call 01297 445050 for tickets and details). Its next Dorset date is Nether Compton village hall on February 17 at 7.30pm (call 01935 413220).