Artist's Massive Sand Paintings Disappear With the Tides (Video)

© Tony Plant

Sand is an versatile material in art, seen in work such as intricately coloured Tibetan Buddhist sand mandalas. On another approach is British artist Tony Plant, a sand-painter and photographer who borrows his canvas from nature by using the wet sand of low-lying coastal lands of England as his working surface. His art is deceptively simple but impressive, employing simple tools like garden rakes to create large-scale sand artworks.

© Tony Plant
© Tony Plant

Plant has been creating his impermanent pieces for the last twenty years. His latest site was chosen on a beach near Cornwall, taking form in a series of 28 sand paintings that were eventually washed away, one after another, ready to be re-painted again. The process was captured in the music video "Till the Luck Runs Dry" by British singer Ruarri Joseph, seen here:

Ultimately, Plant characterizes his elegant pieces as

[..] simple as coloured water, a track through snow, or a group of painted rocks – left to nature and passersby. These Guerrilla style installations, above and below the tidal zones of some of the most exposed coastal locations in the land, are purely ephemeral, and may be gone within a few waves, a tide or a storm, deliberately made to disappear.

© Tony Plant
© Tony Plant
© Tony Plant

By bringing nature into the equation, art practices like Plant's help redefine conventional ideas about art as something static and unchanging, and into an ephemeral experience. Many more images and video over at Tony Plant's website and This Is Colossal.

Tags: Artists | Arts | United Kingdom | video

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