2020 is the Year of Coast and Waters in Scotland and we at Sand In Your Eye have been fortunate enough to make our artwork at many events along the coastline and beautiful beaches of Scotland over the last decade.
We have carved sand sculptures and made sand drawings for the East Neuk Festival for 8 years, helped Edinburgh Zoo celebrate their 100th birthday with a giant 60 tonne sand sculpture, shown The BBC One Show how to make the perfect sandcastle on Portobello beach, visited the stunning beaches of Tiree to celebrate the Tiree Music Festival and most recently worked with Danny Boyle and 14-18 Now to produce sand drawings across the Scottish coast to commemorate 100 years of Armistice.
In addition we’ve chiseled our way through ice blocks in St. Andrews and Dundee to make some eye catching and breath taking ice sculptures and also carved pumpkins in Glasgow for Halloween. It has been a busy decade with many more years to look forward to. To find out more about our Scottish adventures, please read on:
Sand Sculptures (and some Sand Drawings!)
Ten years ago, Jamie made his first trip to Crail for the East Neuk Festival where he had haggis for the first time and made this dynamic sand carving, with Andy Moss and Dan Glover, of one of the steam trains that used to bring day trippers to the beach at Crail.
Since then, Svend Brown, one of the founders of the ENF has invited Jamie to return to the festival and the Honeypot Café a further seven times! The music festival has inspired sand sculptures of Beethoven and Schubert, a French horn, a life size rhino, anamorphic sand drawings of a violin and of composers, Franz Schubert and Johan Sebastian Bach.
In 2016, Sand In Your Eye created a moving series of works inspired by the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. The sand sculpture that year depicted a woman and child, deep in thought, missing somebody absent from their lives. The sand carving was entitled ‘Those who were left behind’ and we also held sand drawing workshops in Crail Harbour commemorating the local men lost at the Somme.
We’ve of course visited Edinburgh and are big fans of Portobello beach near Scotland’s capital city; here we have made a beach bar sculpted from sand for Barefoot Wine, as well as a sand castle building masterclass for the BBC One Show.
This was filmed in 2014, during a day off from building a colossal 60 tonne sand sculpture to commemorate Edinburgh Zoo’s 100thanniversary – the sand carving featured animals from the zoo, such as a panda, a penguin, a cheeky monkey climbing high as well as a rhino and koala.
Later that year, we had a whole season of Scottish sand drawings, starting in the summer with a trip up in Jamie and Claire’s camper van, Bungle to the Tiree Music Festival.
Here the Sand In Your Eye team camped out and made a series of sand drawings for the festival, including this giant anamorphic lobster that appeared to pop up off the beach and had to be fended off with the rakes we had used to make the beach art!
A few months later, we were asked by the organisation 14-18 Now and the director Danny Boyle to coordinate the epic and poignant project ‘Pages of the Sea’ and train teams to make sand drawings of the portraits we designed of servicemen and women who sadly never returned to our shores after World War I. Over thirty beaches around the British Isles were chosen to commemorate these brave individuals.
Many locations along the Scottish coast were picked to honour them, including Roseisle beach, where the face of Scottish war poet Charles Hamilton Sorley, who died aged just 20 was drawn in the sand, and Ayr where Walter Tull, the first black officer to command white troops gazed out from the sand bars. Other locations around Scotland included the Orkney islands, the Outer Hebrides and West Sands, near St Andrews.
St Andrews was also home to our nautical and feline themed ice carving for the St Andrew’s Food & Drink Festival. A local character at the time was Hamish McHamish, a large, fluffy, ginger cat who has since sadly passed away. Hamish would walk around the beautiful, historic town and was well known amongst the locals, who would feed and pet him.
Jamie and Andy made him the captain of his own ice boat and there he sat proudly, his likeness sculpted out of ice, on the prow of the ice sculpture boat, licking his paw whilst he considered pouncing on the carved ice fishes jumping in the boat’s wake but probably thought better of getting cold.
Nearby Dundee City Council also invited us up to make some ice sculptures for their Light Night event in 2017. We made some fun and frolicking penguin ice carvings, that visitors to the city could have their photo taken next to.
Our Christmas ice sculpture bookings are a great excuse for us to drag out our dressing up box, we’ve got all sorts of silly hats and props and people love to share these photos on social media.
And let’s not forget the pumpkins, so far it seems that Glasgow is the place to go for pumpkin carving and we have made carved pumpkins at Halloween for the last two years at the Regent and Forge shopping centres.
We love working in Scotland, the people have always welcomed us with their warm wit and drams of whisky and we hope to visit the coasts and waters, moors and mountains, and the cities and villages of this beautiful country again very soon.