INNOCENT looking pebble art caused a stand-up row at a Shoreham art gallery on Saturday.
Matt Whistler’s painted pebbles were on show at his Walk the Plank gallery on a houseboat in Riverbank.
He said the row blew up when he was accused of taking the Queen’s property from the beach.
Mr Whistler explained: “I had to eject two art viewers from the gallery who had a fracas about my new robot art fortune pebbles. One chap was a lawyer and another worked as a gardener in the Royal Botanic Gardens.
“The argument came about when the chap from the botanic gardens said I was wrong to take Queen’s property from the beach and use it for art work.
“I thought this was preposterous and said I design only a few pebbles to make people happy. He continued that it is illegal and held one of my pebbles in his hand to swear allegiance to the Queen.
I thought this was preposterous and said I design only a few pebbles to make people happyArtist and comedian Matt Whistler
“The lawyer overheard me saying the pebbles are designed on the beach and interjected by saying that when the pebbles leave the beach, they are not pebbles, they are pieces of art.
“I suddenly found myself in the middle of a heated argument and had to ask both parties to leave the boat.”
A spokesman for Adur and Worthing Councils said: “Stones on the beach are technically the property of Adur District Council and are used as a vital part of our flooding defence strategy. It is actually illegal to remove them from the beach (under the Coastal Protection Act of 1949), and we would take a measured view on anyone found doing so.
“While a visitor removing a pebble as a memento of a special day by the coast is unlikely to cause significant concern, anyone found removing larger numbers for personal or professional gain may attract a more serious kind of attention.”
The controversial pebble art can be seen during the Adur Art Trail in June.