The Block Island Times

Beach Art: How we transform the landscape

By Olivia Simon | Jul 10, 2013
Photo by: Olivia Simon A creation made by visitors to Block Island beaches

Throughout the day, the beach is transformed into the home of anonymous artwork and creativity. These beach creations, though only temporary, are a part of Block Island’s landscape. The shoreline is dotted with castles and other sculptures made purely out of sand and nature, their existence ephemeral.

Just as the sun casts its last golden rays over the island, the beach slowly grows quieter as people return home. The only evidence proving that people ever existed on the beach that day are the remains of their sandcastles, rock towers and watery footprints on the deserted shore.

Tide pools, broken-down sandcastles, and scattered rocks — remnants of beach art — cause the surface of the beach to look similar to the surface of the moon. The washed-away castles resemble deep craters and bumps that run along the beach. The force of the ocean gliding over the sand enchants the beach and creates a sense of peace that extends over the entire shore. Under the moonlight, the beach is smooth and calm — it is no longer being shaped and changed by people, but by the ocean itself.

As morning approaches, there are no signs left of the human creations. The sand has cleared and evened-out along the beach, the same beach that housed dozens of sand sculptures the day before. That beach experiences the passage of time in its own way. It falls into its own cycle of rebirth, beginning with a fresh, clear shore, and then witnessing the creation and destruction of summer artwork all in the span of one day and one night.

Olivia Simon is 15, and just moved to Connecticut. Until the beginning of the summer, she lived overseas in both London and Paris. She loves writing, especially creative writing, but has been enjoying the experience of writing for the Block Island Times over the past two summers.

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