It’s an anemone. It looks like a rock, and it is covered with shell fragments, and probably looking like a rock is protection of a sort.
Are we all covered with shells? Do they really work to protect us? Are we more or less what we appear? Anemones are soft and squishy-seeming. When touched, they close up to shield their insides.
The shapes and textures in this are as compelling, too, in their color and placement. I think those are mussel shells to the left and lower right. And what is the circular area that looks dark and wet?
The words surprise me, attaching themselves to these images that I choose with my eyes closed. Eyes shut tight.