Sand ~ Gallery 1 (2013)


Since 2013 (together with my team) I’ve been creating sand art on the beaches of South West England. Each piece is the final process of a design concept that has been carefully considered in advance. By following a comprehensive plan, my team and I are able to survey a beach, accurately plotting points, which can subsequently be utilised and linked in a specific order to create each artwork. My tool of choice is an adjustable wire headed leaf rake which I use to tickle the surface of the sand. This exposes the wetter subsurface, thus providing the contrast for the art to become visible. Each piece can only be fully appreciated when viewed from overhead – At ground level the art appears more abstract. I usually practice my sand art below Brean Down – a rocky headland that juts out into the Bristol Channel and offers 300ft elevated views over the beach below. The Bristol Channel has the second largest tidal range in the world. This exposes a wide expanse of sand during low tide, providing an ideal canvas for my art which can measure up to 500ft in diameter. ‘Time and tide wait for no man’ – Due to tidal conditions I only have a brief window of opportunity in which to create and record each artwork before the incoming tide erases it. I enjoy working with nature and overcoming all the challenges that this presents. Knowing the fleeting patterns that I leave behind in some way act as catalysts for people to take pleasure and meaning from makes it all worthwhile. I’d advise anyone to get creative the next time they visit the coast. Go with the flow and develop a style of art that represents yourself!


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© Julian Richardson ~ Artist