Fancy Sandcastles – Australian Sand Sculpting Championships 2013 – Part I

Fancy Sandcastles - Sand Safari Australian Sand Sculpting Championships 2013
Fancy Sandcastles – Sand Safari Australian Sand Sculpting Championships 2013

I’ve never been a big fan of the beach, dumping crashing waves, eye-stinging saltwater and the sand – sand that would hide and  follow you home then turn up months later in the uncanniest of places. In fact, not long ago, I found some on my balcony thinking it had followed me back from the Gold Coast where I had been to the 2nd Annual Australian Sand Sculpture Championships where this years theme was Sand Safari.

Meg Murray (VIC) - 'A Barrel of Monkey's'
Meg Murray (VIC) – ‘A Barrel of Monkey’s’

Meg Murray took out first place at the 2012 Australian Sand Sculpting Championship. A sand sculptor for more than 10 years she is a professional artist from Tootgarook in Victoria.

A mountainous 180 tonnes of sand was sculpted along the Surfer Paradise boardwalk during the competition to each artists interpretation of this years theme – Sand Safari.

Peter Bignell - 'The Honeymoon'
Peter Bignell (TAS) – ‘The Honeymoon’

Peter started his sculpting career in 1984 sculpting sandstone. He has travelled the world sculpting sand and even ice for which he won the Mayors prize at the 2007 Ice Sculpting Championships in Russia.

The Sand used is not your normal beachside sand but rather a ‘Brickies Loam’ where each grain is square helping it to stick together like building blocks. The sand for this competition comes from Carrara, Queensland and at the end of the event the sand will be taken away and stored for next years event.

Natasha Kamenskaia - 'Sidewalker Soul'
Natasha Kamenskaia (VIC) – ‘Sidewalker Soul’

Natasha, originally from Moscow, made Australia her home in 1992 and has since achieved many artistic qualifications and placed third at the 2012 Australian Sand Sculpting Competition.

Apart from water, no other substance or chemical is added to the sand and only the hard compaction holds it together. The finished sculptures are sprayed with an environmentally friendly biodegradable spray that gives it a water resistant coating in the event of rain.

Clive Abben (VIC) - 'Who is watching the watcher'
Clive Abben (VIC) – ‘Who is watching the watcher’

Clive, originally from England moved to Australia in the early nineties. With a background in gardening and landscape he has been a professional sculptor since 1995 working with Sand Sculpting Australia on many school workshops and shopping centre displays

All being artists in one way or another, the sculptors hone their craft through participating in team events at sand sculpting competitions and displays.

The wooden form the sculptors start with
The wooden form the sculptors start with

Starting from the top and working their way down, without any scaffolding or ladders other than the wooden forms to help create the general shape. The sculptors use all sorts of tools, trowels of many sizes and anything that may help them sculpt their creation.

Jim McCauley - Stomps & Zanzibars Excellent Adventure
Jim McCauley (VIC) – Stomps & Zanzibars Excellent Adventure

Jim has sculpted at many events over the years and passes his talents onto the next generation through teaching at many workshops during the 2013 championships.

I have to say, this was my favourite sand sculpture. 🙂 So what is it that the judges look for when determining the winner?
1) Originality – cleverness and freshness of approach to the theme.

Christina Mija (NSW) - A Closer Look
Christina Mija (NSW) – A Closer Look
Christina Mija - A Closer Look
Christina Mija (NSW) – A Closer Look

A ten year veteran of the Australian Sand Sculpting team, Christina has sculted in Europe on many major projects. Christina’s eye for detail is also apparent through her beautiful personal range of jewellery.

2) Technical difficulty – Has the sculptor pushed the sand to its limit with its height, overhangs and cut throughs?

PART II – Coming Up!

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