Sand-tastic! The Sand Sculpture Festival in Brighton
As one of the few Travelettes that is permanently travelling (aka homeless with a suitcase) and the girl who wrote this post about being a world travelling digital nomad, it was somewhat of a shock to end up back in Britain for a few months for a few different reasons (not least, I’m an Auntie for the first time, yay!). It’s even stranger that my current base is a city that is less than an hour away from where I grew up, but when we knew we needed to be based in the UK, rather than succumb to London’s ever-tempting and ever-expensive ways, we opted for a smaller and hopefully sunnier location on the southern English coast; Brighton & Hove.
It’s a city that’s already impressed me with it’s dramatic seafront views, stunning white Regency properties and forward-thinking inclusive spirit. That’s not to mention the wealth of festivals that descend upon Brighton all year round but especially during the summer. And when the sun shines and I squint my eyes behind my sunglasses, I really do feel like I’m still abroad.
But enough about my new love for a city I never thought I’d live in, let’s dive into one of these fine festivals I’m talking about.
Brighton Sand Sculpture Festival, which opened at the beginning of Apri, is a unique exhibition displaying the work of 20 international artists who have transformed 20 tonnes of sand into works of art. And many of them are very recognisable as the theme for the festival is Music. From Mozart to Bob Marley, Sid Vicious to Snoop Dogg I was amazed at the personality displayed in these giant and elaborate sculptures that are made from nothing more than sand and water.
Because it’s not possible to protect the sculptures from nature’s elements – yep, the sun certainly doesn’t shine everyday in Brighton – constant work goes into maintaining these works of art and we got a chance to see Amy Winehouse enjoying a quick makeover. Many of the sculptures are still being added to and there’s one stand that shows you how they construct them from scratch. There’s a large sand pit too, if you fancy giving sand sculpting ago. Buckets are there to help you on your way. I was particularly intrigued to learn that during the last week of the festival, visually impaired visitors are invited to experience the sculptures through touch. Then it’s time to dismantle the sculptures and recycle the sand. Until next year…
Now see if you can guess which musicians and pop stars these are? (Some are easier than others!)
There is of course a small sense of irony about the Sand Sculpture Festival being in Brighton, a seaside resort famous for its pebble beach. In my opinion the Sand Sculpture Festival brings the best of both beaches to town; you still get to admire some incredible sand creations, while not risking getting any of that pesky sand in your bikini.
Brighton Sand Sculpture Festival is open at Black Rock Beach near Brighton Marina until 30th September 2013. Visit their website for more information.