Transcribe: A Beach Drawing Challenge

Gwithian Sand Painting

Conceived by staff on BA(Hons) Drawing, ‘Transcribe’ took place at Gwithian near Hayle last week and saw a number of students creating drawings based on contemporary and historical artworks in the sand at low tide.

Groups of four to ten students from across Falmouth School of Art’s courses were set the beach drawing challenge as the sea ebbed, revealing acres of flat, unspoiled sand. This site-specific large-scale project demands an alternative approach to the usual studio-based work, using the eyes and mind in a different way.

Best viewed from the cliff-top above, the beach drawings began to take shape after some initial planning and sketching. Lookouts from several groups used the cliff-top vantage point to gauge the foreshortening of the oblique view, communicating corrective measures to those below, so the calculations were quite complex, but the results spoke for themselves at the end of a sunny, blustery day. Visitors to the beach were treated to versions of Contemporary Portraiture, Impressionist paintings, Op Art designs and Symbolist works in the bright Gwithian sands.

Images of the students at work before the tide came in, sweeping the beach clear, can be viewed in the slideshow.

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