The Eye Like team headed to the Algarve in June for artistic inspiration (a.k.a. a much needed break), therefore it is no surprise at all that we ventured to a venue showcasing a very different type of art. Fiesa - the International Sand Sculpture Festival - has been running in Pêra, Portugal since 2003 and is held by Prosandart; the festival exhibits sand sculptures that have been created by sculptors from all across the globe and is renowned for being the biggest sand sculpture festival in the world!
Each year the festival has a different theme, and this year was no exception, with ‘Music’ presented as the motif. Having been to FIESA several times in the past, our expectations were high, and we were looking forward to seeing the delights of sand sculpturing. However, even with Nik’s pure excitement preceding the festival, there was no doubt in my mind that he would also look on in dismay, wishing his sculpturing skills were up to scratch!
Entering the grounds, we were presented with a flurry of familiar – and not so familiar – faces, all in larger dimensions and wonderfully carved out of sand. As usual we were astounded by the amount of detail in these works, all differing from one another and giving their own take on ‘music’. Wandering around the arena we were presented with sculptures surrounding the usual suspects of music; the ‘King of Rock 'n' Roll’, Madonna, and much to my own dismay, Justin Bieber. However there were also sculptures surrounding ‘music’ that to my opinion were a bit tenuous; for instance a sculpture of Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was exhibited, along with a scene from Alice and Wonderland. Nonetheless, this in fact happened to be my favourite sculpture of the entirety, and despite the somewhat tenuous links, there was no uncertainty to the originality and creativity of any of the pieces that were presented. Even after seeing what seemed like hundreds of pieces I was still in disbelief at the pure skill involved from each sculptor.
The only visible flaw in the artworks at FIESA this year was that unfortunately due to harsh weather conditions, many of the sculptures had begun to wear away and erode. Springing to mind is the vision of a couple of pigs, one with a snout intact and the other with only half of the snout existing, visibly crumbling away.
This ephemeral nature to sand art only highlights the overall fascination, and value, of the sculptures however. Each sculptor embarking on a new project is not only aware, but also accepts, the knowledge that at the end of the project their work of art will be destroyed. For this reason, the vision of the crumbling pig snout, although not intentional, serves to show as a reminder of how art inevitably is transient, with only the lucky ones being able to perceive the most short-lived art works.
With this in mind, FIESA can never disappoint – if only the Eye Like Gallery could transport these enthralling sculptures to Beaconsfield!
Eye Like Gallery.