I travelled to Søndervig in western Denmark to the International Sand Sculpture Festival and this time I was taken off the wall where last year I made an Indian Face to do a solo sculpture.
I chose to do a sculpture that is representative of a theme we are developing at Sand In Your Eye called We Are Human. During the Fallen project we made 9000 stencils of people on the beach of Arrmoanches to visually show the loss of life during D-Day. One of the questions in development was “Should we identify between nationalities?” We chose not to and made the figures anonymous as to us the importance was that they were all human beings and the art piece was about the loss of life not who was on what side.
Whist in northern India Claire and I encountered much of the Tibetan culture and whilst reading about the Dalai Lama he had championed similar themes but in a much more succinct way: In a conference in Canada called cultivating happiness 2007 he said [7:24]:
“I just consider myself another human being…….. That you are my brothers and sisters…….
Sometimes people make deliberate distinctions, Eastern or Western, and this race, or this community or that community, Buddhist or Christian, or Muslims, or Hindus or Jews, this makes lots of differences and divisions. But actually these are secondary, the important thing is that we are human beings. Mentally, emotionally, physically we are the same……..we do not want disturbance or suffering and everybody has the right to a happy and successful future.”
The essence is that although very different we are essentially the same and should promote the happiness with compassion to others.
The local beach had many examples of how divisions can lead to conflict. Concrete bunkers litter the beach as reminders of Hitler’s iron curtain. Prior to that this region saw great Viking battles and this was the main theme of this years sculpture, so a sculpture promoting Peace seemed suitable.
To embody the idea of ‘We Are Human’ I made a foetus. At this stage of early development there is no divisions of race, religion, or culture, it is simply a human being in its most vulnerable form. It will only prosper if treated with compassion and kindness.