Celebrating 14 years of sand art in Weston − part one

PUBLISHED: 16:00 17 April 2020

Sculptor Joris Kivits working on the giant gorilla the year the festival started. Picture: DAVID KENNEFORD

Sculptor Joris Kivits working on the giant gorilla the year the festival started. Picture: DAVID KENNEFORD

Archant

One of the most eagerly-awaited events in Weston’s calendar would have been unveiled to an excited audience at the beginning of the month, if it were not for the coronavirus crisis bringing the 2020 summer season to a crashing halt.

Sand Sculpture on Weston Beach. Thomas Koet from the Netherlands.
11-7-08Sand Sculpture on Weston Beach. Thomas Koet from the Netherlands. 11-7-08

The Weston Sand Sculpture Festival would have been celebrating its 15th anniversary at its seafront venue this year, with international sculptors having dreamed up marvellous creations to the theme above and beyond. The apt theme, given the current situation, was due to celebrate historical achievements, space travel and unsung heroes.

But as the Mercury reported on March 20, organisers have postponed the festival ‘until further notice’, hoping to reschedule it for later in the season.

So instead of being able to see a plethora of new sand art, revealing glimpses into the quirky imaginations of the talented artists, we have decided to take a look back over the creations of previous years. We give thanks to the many sculptors who have showcased their skills, taken the time to talk to visitors about their craft and brought the exhibition to the hearts of Weston visitors and residents alike, as well as garnering global, critical acclaim.

Sand Sculpture on Weston Beach. Leonardo Ugolini from Italy.
11-7-08Sand Sculpture on Weston Beach. Leonardo Ugolini from Italy. 11-7-08

It all began as a single sculpture in 2006 when members of the World Sand Sculpting Academy transformed around 20 tonnes of the resort’s sand into the giant head of King Kong on the Beach Lawns over five days.

The event was the first of its kind in Weston and stayed in place until September, thanks to sponsorship from The Grand Pier and Wookey Hole.

The following summer saw a fairytales theme, when almost 30,000 people, including school groups, from across the world visited, when it was held again on the Beach Lawns. It moved to its current spot in between the pier and former aquarium in 2008 with an oceans theme.

The Beatles were celebrated as Great Britons in 2010. Picture:    DAVID KENNEFORDThe Beatles were celebrated as Great Britons in 2010. Picture: DAVID KENNEFORD

In 2010 the theme was Great Britain.

Next week’s Mercury will feature more fantastic pictures of the thought-provoking creations from 2010-2015.


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