Sand Art in St Bees

At the weekend my family and I found out there was a ‘Beached Art’ exhibition going on down at our village beach. St Bees has a very nice beach and is well-known as the starting point for the famous ‘Coast-to-Coast’ walk well-beloved by walkers from all over the country. We regularly see literally busloads of tourists come to the beach every week even though it can hardly be said that the British sun as really begun to come out yet.

Sure enough, when we ventured down to the beach later in the day, the sun hadn’t played its part. It had rained for much of the day and was grey for the rest. Yet still people came to the event! With inflatables wafting in the strong breeze, the RNLI lifeboat crew out showing brave people the inner workings of their valuable, life-saving boat and lots of hot tea served to keep spirits up, there were not a few of us hardy folk braving the elements there.

Cumbrians don’t let a bit of rain get in their way! Instead, they do daft things – like enter competitions for making sand art on the beach. And so they did. Bearing in mind that these were done by (as far as I’m aware) ordinary locals, I’m pretty impressed with this. I can barely build a sand castle with a bucket – let alone do this!

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All this got me wondering why sand art isn’t big in Bangladesh. After six years living there, I can’t recall anyone doing sand art yet there’s a heck of a lot of it there! Bangladesh has the world’s longest beach – Cox’s Bazaar – and, admittedly, I never had the opportunity to go so perhaps you can find this kind of thing going on there?

Bangladesh has sand littered everywhere

Bangladesh has sand littered everywhere

But even in my ‘land-locked’ part of the country in the northwest, there was tons of sand around. You can’t move for the stuff! So why no sand art? It’s not as though Bangladesh isn’t a country that loves art – in fact, it’s a nation proud of all its artists and musicians.

Maybe sand art is just the kind of thing the mad British do to make up for boring days at the beach when it’s too cold to dip in the sea and the skies are grey?

Well…no. For one thing, you can get in to sand art without even stepping outside!

I was shown this video of Kseniya Simonova years ago and it still amazes me and brings me to tears to watch. Her story is as inspirational as she is beautiful and her art simply sublime.

When you can do this with sand, who needs any other excuse to go be amazing on the beach? In fact, time to dig out that bucket and try again to build my homage to Buckingham Palace…

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About D K Powell

British freelance journalist, author, writer, editor, musician, educational consultant. I lived with Wifey, Thing I (daughter) & Thing II (son) in Bangladesh for 5-6 years working for an NGO called LAMB. Wifey led the Hospital Rehab department and I used to teach O levels at the school before going full-time as a freelance writer in 2013. Now we're back in the UK learning how to be British again. When not writing or editing, I'm busy trying to complete a Masters degree in Intercultural relations in Asian Contexts and reading way too many books at once. I also drink tea - lots of it.
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9 Responses to Sand Art in St Bees

  1. Pingback: A Very English Summer Fete | kenthinksaloud

  2. archecotech says:

    So when you get back to Bangladesh……….you can start the first competition.

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  3. Madhu says:

    Some amazing sand sculptures there Ken! Puri in India is famous for its sand art competitions. I am surprised it isn’t prevalent along other coastal areas here or in Bangladesh either. Look forward to seeing the finished palace🙂

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    • It may well be down at Cox’s Bazaar and Barisal and other coastal regions in Bangladesh but I’m just not aware of it. It does seem odd though that you don’t see it more often wherever there is sand. In the Scandinavian countries you see ice sculptures regularly. In the UK hedge sculptures are still seen especially at country estates. Sand sculpture is amazing and yet I rarely hear of it. Did you watch the video link? If not you should watch that woman! She is amazing and incredibly inspirational.🙂

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  4. I loved the winner, and Sand Art is an art in itself… Many thanks for sharing…. I hope your weekend was a good one too🙂
    Blessings Sue

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