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always the ocean, always the sand

There's an art school in the Netherlands called the World Sand Sculpting Academy. They teach you how to build semi-permanent sculptures out of a special kind of sand which they mix with water [perhaps from the ocean], and with a "glue" so it will harden, then they spray the finished product. There's an exhibition going on in the center of townn this summer, featuring some of the adult work:

The artist is spraying fixative at the R side of the shot. The finished sculptures will withstand up to a Force 7 wind [NOT the hurricane scale we know in the USA!] and one of these stood in California for two years, a record. I think the detail they can achieve with this process is incredible.

They spend considerable time on human figures, designing and creating them on a scale far more than lifesize:

One of the towers is constructed on an armature and it's composed entirely of figures with children at the top, the art tapers as it rises. Maybe about six or seven meters tall. It's not only when the winds blow the branches and the treelimbs, to move the leaf-shadows over them, they're alive with movement all the time, as they've been composed and sculpted:

As they were building this, last June; it's one side of the 360-degree tower:

And this is what the base looks like at night, about the same area as the previous shot: they've floodlighted the statuary, not very well, but they've managed to create some eerie shadows, seems to me:

Something as common as sand made into something as unusual as these. Even though they will all be destroyed at the end of the exhibit, I think they can also live on --- not just in photographs, but in memory of creation, and re-creation... not just of those artists lucky / talented enough to construct them, but in the memories of all those who take the time to visit and look with wider eyes, beyond the lens of a camera... keeping the experience of listening to the figures in the sculptures speak to you.

No matter how strong the wind nor how hard the rain.

And that's how people live on, too.


kiota too late for the stars
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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