The 16th edition of the International Sand Sculpture Festival (SANDLAND) has begun in Turkey’s Mediterranean resort city of Antalya. Every year, the festival attracts tourists with mesmerizing sand sculptures. This year’s theme is “The Lost City of Atlantis,” and it will begin in the middle of May.
The International Sand Sculpture Festival in Antalya is one of the world’s most prestigious sand sculpture activities. Every year, hundreds of huge, sparkling sand sculptures prepared around various themes, such as “World Wonders and Mythology” and “Sea Legends,” are displayed at Lara Beach, drawing many local and international tourists.
Sand sculpting is a form of ephemeral (temporary) art that has gradually grown in popularity around the world in recent years. Sand sculpting practices, which fall under the umbrella of alternative arts, use only sand and water. Sand sculptors work alone or in groups of two to three individuals, taking into account the size of the sculpture to be made.
As a result, impressive works of the art weighing hundreds of tons and measuring several meters in height and length are made using only water and sand. The art of sand sculpture adopts the philosophy that nothing is permanent and everything will disappear one day. These wonderful works are demolished after a short period of the exhibition.
Festival director Cem Karaca told Anadolu Agency (AA) that their festival is one of the largest sand sculpture events in the world with the high number of sculptures it hosts and the amount of sand used in these works. Noting the festival is open throughout the year, Karaca continued: “The pandemic has affected social life, especially culture and arts events. While many sand festivals were canceled around the world, we will continue our event under strict COVID-19 measures.”
The festival director also provided information about the 16th edition of the festival: “While preserving some of our sculptures, especially an imitation of the Cheops Pyramid, which we have applied to be included in the Guinness World Records, we will also present our new sculptures with the theme of Atlantis to our visitors. With our new sculptures, we will take our visitors on a journey through the mysterious world of the city of Atlantis. We hope that the imaginative, fantastic sculptures will attract visitors of all ages. Our sculptors started their work in the area as of April 19. We will also do repair work on our sculptures that we have not destroyed in our area. As every year, we want to create a different experience at night with lighting and music suitable for the atmosphere.”
Bulgarian sand sculptor professor Ani Zlateva also stated that she has participated in many sand sculpture events around the world and that many activities have been held in this field in recent years. Explaining that sand provides the opportunity to make large sculptures in a short time, Zlateva emphasized that their sculptures will be destroyed after a while. Noting that this situation does not upset her as an artist, “The understanding of sand sculpture is based on the fact that everything will disappear one day. I am immortalizing my work in the digital environment by photographing it with my phone.”