Sunday, August 25, 2013

an ephemeral history of the wild west

out at the west coast, there's a sand sculpture festival going on. we went on saturday, and as you can see, the weather was absolutely glorious for it.

the theme is the wild west. and a variety of sand artists from all over the world (tho' none actually from denmark), got together and made some seriously cool ephemeral art.

it's nothing more than compressed sand and water and it will erode naturally away after some months.

it both celebrates and encourages thoughtful reflection on the colonization of the north american continent.

only a few of the artists were from the US, quite a few were from finland, latvia and holland, but also spain and germany and new zealand and australia.

it's near the beach, but not on the beach itself. the sand came from a nearby quarry.

buffalo are a big part of the theme and there are some graphic depictions of the decimation of the vast herds of buffalo that once roamed the plains.

these two buffalo bulls are amazingly done. you can almost feel the ground shake as they butt one another.

on the back side of them, more of a statement of the symbiosis with native peoples and with the colonization of their territory.

an old west town encroaches inside the buffalo itself.

this skull was probably my favorite piece.

on the back side, you can see the gold bars on which the west was built.

and here was a train being hijacked by bandits as it came out of a tunnel.

that too was part of the story of the wild west.

this bit was a bit more facetious - poking fun at space cowboys. but also highlighting the importance of route 66 on the american psyche.

a gold prospector and his trusty donkey.

and an old west town. the detail on the tied back wagon cover was exquisite - it really looked like folded fabric.

so much going on in the old west town. and the perspective was phenomenal.

a shoot out in the desert between cowboys.

and an indian family with their teepee.

in all, very much worth the trip. the exhibition closes at the end of october and we want to go again to see the effects of erosion. so symbolic, as history itself is eroded by time.


will said...

Amazing details, scope and A+ skills to do these things. So, when does it rain?

julochka said...

they say that the rain will only eventually erode them away after some months. they stay pretty intact because they've been VERY compacted before it all began and because they remain wet on the inside. that somehow helps them stay. but we want to go back in october and see how much they've changed. it was really something!

celkalee said...

stunning, natural erosion should be interesting to photograph, to compare.

heidikins said...

I love everything about this! The sculptures are great, the content is fabulous, and I can't wait to see pictures of the erosion!