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Professional artists create life-sized sand art
This unique global competition features top sand sculpting artists from around the world who have created five-metre-high artworks solely from sand and water, taking inspiration from the theme ‘200 years of sea, sand and ...’. Visitors can view the amazing sculptures in the historic city centre, just a 10-minute walk from The Hague Central Station.
Created between 4 and 12 June, the sculptures were then judged on 13 June by a professional jury. Baldrick Buckle from the United Kingdom was named this year’s world champion with his 30-tonne sculpture entitled ‘The Road to Scheveningen’, which took inspiration from Chris Burden’s famous ‘The Flying Steamroller’.
Sand masterpieces inspired by art, culture and science
Organised by the World Sand Sculpting Academy (WSSA), the World Championship Sand Sculpting competition is held every three years. The 2018 edition sees the Netherlands hosting it for the first time and features professional sand sculptors representing Japan, Singapore, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic.
The giant sand creations showcase a wide variety of designs inspired by renowned artists, such as Van Gogh, Dali and Picasso, while others incorporate central themes inspired by tolerance and new dimensions in art and science. Although nine sculptures were created, only eight were officially competing – host country the Netherlands was excluded from the competition but is represented by a sand sculpture dedicated to nearby seaside resort Scheveningen.
The artists each used around 40,000kg of sand taken from the River Maas near Nijmegen to create their masterpiece. This is because the sand needs to have sharp-edged grains to ensure it binds together when it is tightly compacted, meaning river sand is more suitable than beach sand. After the event ends on 19 August, the sand will be reused for construction projects in the city.
Night illuminations and guided tours
To show the art in a new light and add another dimension to the works, the sculptures will be spectacularly illuminated by a team of specialist light artists until 23:00 each evening. Guided tours are also possible, on request.
Celebrating 200 years of Scheveningen
Exactly 200 years ago, Dutch fisherman and ship owner Jacobus Pronk established the first bathhouse in The Hague’s Scheveningen district. Although the small wooden construction contained only four seawater bathtubs, it made Scheveningen the first seaside resort in the Netherlands. The once-small fishing village has since grown into a vibrant seaside resort with fine-dining restaurants and stalls offering fresh fish straight from the North Sea, entertainment for the whole family, and a hub for water sports. The Hague will be celebrating throughout the year with festivals, exhibitions and performances. Highlights include the World Championship Sand Sculpting, the climax of the Volvo Ocean Race and the annual International Fireworks Festival.
Take a look at the full programme of events.