Rescue - sand sculpture

I am always aware that most of my sand sculptures will be short-lived and only continue on in the mind of the beholder (hopefully) and in photographs. Documenting them here on the blockchain gives them a new life and so hopefully they won't be forgotten.

Photo finish

Sometimes, I like to make sculptures that have a sweet spot, where I decide on one viewing angle that the piece is meant to be seen and photographed from. In some ways, it is like creating a drawing in relief. Converting 3D to 2D If you will. (You will?! .... Ah Thanks!)

This piece was made over three days for the Duncannon sand sculpture festival in Wexford, Ireland 2013. It's a beautiful part of the country where I have been going since 1999 to make a sculpture/exhibition. The exhibition this year was to honour the rescue services and the work they do which is so important, especially in this little fishing village.

The beach sand of Duncannon is very nice to work with due to the river Barrow depositing fresh material as it enters the sea around this area. The time I have to make a piece usually means that the sand is just piled up in a hill and I work with it as is. No time for compacting, just carving. In the trade, we call this Softpack sculpting and the sand suits this process although it means you can never go too high or steep.


With this piece, I imagined I was on-board a sinking ship, looking up and seeing my hero coming to rescue me. There was no deep artist meaning to the piece, I just wanted to create an interesting image as a sand sculpture with this forced perspective style I had been developing. And sure what's wrong with that.

When seen from any other direction the sculpture becomes a big abstract mess. For me, this was a price worth paying. Also, as the exhibition tent is quite small and it is better that people don't linger too long at certain pinch points.

Putting things in perspective

It is fun to experiment with the idea that I can make a sculpture of a certain lens focal length and put the viewer at any point in space. This approach, which I have been playing with over the years really makes my brain hurt with the complex angles, scale and running back and forth to the viewing position to make sure everything lines up. It doesn't always work out but as they say 'God loves a trier'.


Knowing how rough the weather and sea conditions can get around the Irish coast I must say I am very pretty impressed by these men and women who put their lives in danger to save others. Unfortunately, I had to leave the project before some of the crew actually came to the festival to do some demonstrations and visit the sculpture. It would have been nice to meet them.

What was most sad was that I heard in 2017 that one of the Irish coast guards Helicopters had crashed off the Irish coast while on a mission and all 4 crew died in the incident. Poignantly I believe they were the ones who visited the sculpture that year.


Thanks for reading. I use PeakD to document my work as an ephemeral Sculptor of sand, snow and ice, amongst other things. This will hopefully give it a new life on the Hive Blockchain. Below you will find some of my recent posts.

Gift of the gab - sand sculpture

Character building - sand sculpture

The gift - sand sculpture

I hope you'll join me again soon

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