There are paintings so life-like it becomes impossible to distinguish them from the real subject. But have you ever imagined that something made out of sand could be as realistic as the original? Well, you’d be surprised to know that Andoni Bastarrika has been doing this with sand.
Nature remains Bastarrika’s subject and he has created several animals that include bulls, horses, sharks, dolphins, and even mermaids…each appearing as real as the other. It was the summer of 2010 when he went to a beach with his two daughters and made a little mermaid with sand. The result was fantastic, which prompted him to take up sand sculpting.
It has been 10 years since then and Bastarrika continues to develop his sculpting skills. On his Facebook account he wrote, “The sand fascinates me because no matter how you look at it, it’ll always teach you things if you’re willing to learn.” He’s undaunted by the ephemeral nature of sand sculptures that perish in a short while.
Bastarrika shapes up the moist sand, using a sharpened stick and a feather. He uses ash, coal powder, clay powder, stone powder of different colors and even glass shards to color his creations. It takes him anywhere between six to eight hours to create smaller animals, but about 12 hours for bigger ones, like horse and bison. For the elephant, it took him two days.
As regards his choice of animal sculptures, Bastarrika considers animals to be free spirits and bearers of great wisdom from whom humans can learn.