Tony Plant, is an artist from the U.K., that has an unusual artistic talent. Using not much more than a rake, he creates large-scale, geometric works of art that can sometimes span entire beaches! To catch his work, you really have to be in the right place at the right time, because they can be here one minute and gone with the tide in the next.
Plant has a lot to contend with to make his artwork. For one, they don’t last very long, so capturing them on film quickly, is an important part of the process. Second, since his pieces are so large, you have to be sitting high above them to even appreciate the work in its entirety.
Plant recalls people’s reactions to his art, saying, “You can be in the middle of a 500-meter drawing and be totally oblivious to the fact that you’re even there. I’ve seen people do it, and it’s amazing when they realize. They stop and freeze in their tracks because they don’t know what to do.”
“Plant thinks it’s misleading to call the sand drawings ephemeral because it implies that other things, especially other forms of art, are not. He believes that these beach paintings might be more permanent than art hung in a gallery or museum.” His reasoning is that happening upon one of his massive works can be an experience. In that sense, people’s experiences become a memory of the landscape that is very hard to forget. “If you turn your back on a beach painting and it’s still chugging around in your head, and you mention it to someone else or remember it in relation to something else 10 years down the line, it’s not ephemeral.”
In the end, Plant says his main goal is to get people to stop and just experience life. “I just want someone to stop and look at the landscape,” says Plant. “This is my response to the landscape—what’s yours?”