One of the pleasures of a beach holiday is making castles in the sand. Usually they’re shaped with a bucket and spade, decorated with shells, driftwood or seaweed and then left to the mercy of the tides. But the 38 professional sand artists who created the sculptures at Sand Wonderland this year took the art of building with sand to a whole new level.
Sand Wonderland is the world’s largest sand sculpture festival and was recognised by the Guinness Book of Records in 2010. It is held every year in the Duinse Polders in Blankenberge, on the Belgian Coast. This year’s festival was titled The World Collection and featured iconic people and places, events and inventions of world renown fashioned from 20 000 tons of specially prepared sand.
On 6 June 1944, at 6.30 in the morning, 50 000 troops from 1st Infantry Division and 29th Infantry Division landed on Omaha Beach as part of the Allied invasion of Normandy. By the end of D-Day more than 5000 American soldiers had become casualties.
On 5 June 2004 this sculpture, Statue des Braves, was unveiled as part of the commemorations of the 60th anniversary of the invasion. The three parts of the sculpture represent Wings of Hope; Rise, Freedom! and Wings of Fraternity.
Once upon a time in the land of New Zealand, a small child looked up at a beautiful house on a hill above the town of Akaroa. The child announced that the house was so large a giant must live there, and “Linton” became known as “The Giant’s House”.
Linton was built in 1880 for the town’s first bank manager. Its entrance hall features a mahogany staircase which was specially imported from France and in keeping with that the rest of the house was decorated in French style. The house is now a luxury B&B owned by renowned artist Josie Martin.
Josie’s presence is evident in the garden surrounding the house. Terraces of roses, perennials and summer annuals mingle randomly with vegetables and fruit trees. The garden beds overflow with colours which are mirrored in the amazing mosaic sculptures on every terrace. Staircases patterned with mosaicked creatures lead from one level to another and around every corner are more larger than life characters.
From the highest terrace the views of Akaroa harbour and the hills of Canterbury are as expansive as the house.