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Melbourne’s Leo Vamvalis was the winner of the 2013 Australian Sand Sculpting Championship on the Gold Coast.
Melbourne’s Leo Vamvalis was the winner of the 2013 Australian Sand Sculpting Championship on the Gold Coast.
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Sand storm for Queensland sculptors

Queensland’s wild weather created a different type of sand storm in February for a number of talented artists on the Gold Coast.

The Australian Sand Sculpting Championships were held at Surfers Paradise but instead of the famed “beautiful one day, perfect the next” weather it was a sand storm for the artists.

Sculptors from all over Australia spent many days creating their beautiful artworks, only to be interrupted by rain and fierce winds.
Sculptors from all over Australia spent many days creating their beautiful artworks, only to be interrupted by rain and fierce winds.
Sculptors from all over Australia had spent many days creating their beautiful artworks, only to be interrupted by rain and fierce winds. However, on 20 February, they were able to return to work and finetune their creations.

Earlier they had been forced to watch as conditions wreaked havoc on their artwork, with third-place recipient Jino Van Bruisessen one of the worst affected.

"The rain was tough on everybody and was very challenging and sometimes disheartening ... with a number of collapses happening," he said. "[On Saturday] morning when I stripped the bottom framework, the whole thing just collapsed on me.

"The moon became more of a crescent moon so I could still work with it but the rest was basically gone, so I had to start again."

Van Bruisessen said he never thought he would take out third place after watching his sculpture fall apart. "I was quite surprised that I still got third prize because the state I was in was not very good in comparison with the others," he said.

Taking out first place was Melbourne resident Leo Vamvalis for his sculpture Wild Memories and second place was awarded to Christina Mija for her piece entitled A Closer Look.

A Bengal tiger comes face to face with a very good likeness of one of its brethren.
A Bengal tiger comes face to face with a very good likeness of one of its brethren.
Surfers Paradise Alliance CEO Mike Winlaw said it had been great watching the sculptors work together in the extremely challenging conditions.

"It was certainly tough for the sculptors and they did a sterling job considering they had to put up with some adverse conditions," he said.

"One of the things they talked about ... was how they banded together to help each other when we had some Gold Coast storms come through."

Sculptors use “brickies’ sand”, which is traditionally sourced from local sand quarry suppliers and used on building sites. Each sand grain is cubical and it compacts better like building blocks, compared to the actual beach sand which is smoother and rounder.

Sources: Gold Coast News, Surfers Paradise, Sandstorm Events












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Wednesday, 21 August, 2019 9:11am
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