Log In

Reset Password

It’s once more unto the beach for Frenchman Sam

First Prev 1 2 3 4 Next Last

To make a living, Frenchman Sam Dougados used to sit in a dimly-lit stockroom making boxes. These days he’s got a different job. It has its stresses. Sometimes people trample right over his work. Sometimes he misses his deadline and then everything is a wash. Those are the “stresses” when you spend your life making art on the beach.

Mr Dougados, of Biarritz, France, is now one of a handful of people in the world who are experts at beach art. This involves taking a rake and making beautiful and intricate designs in the sand. There is no paint or expensive equipment involved. Last October he won the Mymemory.com Beach Art Championships in Jersey.

This week he was in Bermuda to lead workshops and preside over Bermuda’s first Bermuda Beach Art Festival to be held today.

“I used to practise different kinds of art like scripting and painting,” Mr Dougados said. “I am a surfer also. I discovered the beach art in a surf video. A California guy was doing it and it was pretty good. I kept it in mind.”

After he lost his job making boxes he decided to concentrate more on his passion for art. He started the beach art more as a way to bring attention to his other art and make a name for himself.

“I am a self-made artist and I really liked art,” he said. “Beach art was to make kind of a buzz about my work. In the beach in Biarritz, I did something big and signed my name. The public on the beach liked it a lot. They came to me to ask questions.”

He usually uses the same beach near his home and has got to know the people who walk the beach every day. Some people are more friendly than others. Having people walk right through his art is one of the things he has come to accept.

“Some people just don’t care,” he said. “I have this one old guy who always walks straight through it. He could easily pass me and avoid walking over it. He doesn’t care. Generally, people are careful. Usually, if they walk through it, it is because they didn’t see it because the beach art is so big.”

The longest piece he has made was one mile long and was for the Jersey competition. He said the Bermuda beaches will be a little more challenging because of their smaller scale.

“It is more difficult to make something impressive when the circles, for example, can only be three feet wide, at the most,” he said.

“However, it is will be interesting for the picture because of the corals and pink sand.”

Mr Dougados said interest is growing in beach art and other land art forms, because people are more sensitive to their environment than they were previously.

“That is why it is so special,” he said. “Every day you have a new blank page. You don’t ever have the same light or the same space twice. The beach is one of the widest spaces available to make art. You feel very alive. You can smell the water, hear the birds and the waves. In the winter, where I am, there are few people on the beach because it is so cold. You are in communion with nature.”

The Bermuda Beach Art Festival is today from 12.30pm to 3.30pm at beaches around the island including Elbow Beach, Horseshoe Bay, Chaplin Bay, John Smith’s, Grape Bay Beach and Jobsons Cove.

The event is sponsored by Alliance Francais, Smatts Cycles, Butterfield and Vallis. In addition to beach art, there will be paddle boarding, kite boarding, a Playmobil for young children and yoga. The Playmobil for children under 12 years old will be at Horseshoe Bay from 2pm to 3.30pm. Tomorrow, the awards presentation will be from noon to 2pm at Horseshoe Bay followed by a picnic. For more details please see their Facebook page under Bermuda Beach Art Festival, Bermuda.

Sam Dougados? sand art in Bermuda.
Beach Artist Sam Dougados working on beach art at Horseshoe Bay. (Photo by Akil Simmons) March 22,2012
The only equipment generally needed for sand art is a rake.
Rings across the beach by sand artist Sam Dougados.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published March 24, 2012 at 9:22 am (Updated March 24, 2012 at 9:21 am)

It’s once more unto the beach for Frenchman Sam

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon