Sand sculpture on public beaches (or on a city street) is a performance involving the demanding and somewhat limited medium of sand and the interaction of the observers as they watch the creation and or demise of large, detailed works usually created at the edge of the ocean. If I have a large audience, I try to keep the emphasis of the conversation on the natural environment and the need to maintain the delicate balance of earth, air, water and fire.
Not for just any occasion, I sculpt sand for "special" events, or for no reason at all except the pure pleasure of being creative with free, plentiful material. Almost always unplanned, these works are loose associations in the four dimensions; length, width, depth and time. They usually incorporate the emotional and animated element of gradual tidal destruction making them rare and more precious to most onlookers. In addition to heavy physical labor in pleasant surroundings, these playful constructions can require challenging sand engineering, extreme patience, and the vulnerability of any public performance. Collapses can be pretty disappointing and can suddenly ruin hours of hard work which usually cannot be repaired. Changing the piece is the way to go..
Portraits, like the huge Robert Moses sculpture created for the NY Daily News Magazine cover require much more careful attention to scale (and in this case, a clay model) or a living model. Sometimes a pile of construction sand can be irresistible after a rain which makes the sand hold shapes. Tropical rain will unify the surface making beautiful, regular textures and removing hand prints.
In 1981 my company produced Sandsong, the documentary film which won the Blue Ribbon at the American Film Festival and the CINE Golden Eagle award and was selected by the American Library Association as one of the year's best films in 1981. The book by the same title, published by St. Martin's Press, features more than 100 photographs and 3000 words of text, and is now available at LynasPress here.
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