Sunday, April 21, 2024

Victoria-based sand sculptor captures enchanting images in largest-ever sand sculpture park (PHOTOS)


If you’ve had the pleasure of viewing the work at Parksville’s Beachfest, you won’t want to miss this!

Local renowned artist Damon Langlois has been sculpting masterpieces in the sand since the early 90s—competing in a number of competitions across the globe as well as working with sand on a much larger scale. 

Not only does he hold the title for tallest sandcastle in the Guinness Book of World Records with the Sand Sculpture Company, he is also about to become an author of a book commemorating the largest sand sculpture park ever made.

His new book, Stories In Sand, not only details his time spent in Kuwait as the Creative Director of the Remel Festival, but also includes a stunning rendition of stories from The Arabian Nights, re-written and shortened texts derived from the english translations.

This includes stories such as Aladdin, Alibaba and the Forty Thieves, and the Seven Voyages of Sinbad

(Submitted by Damon Langlois)

“Imagine Parksville Beachfest but the size of a small village,” Langlois said in an interview with Victoria Buzz.

“It needed to have a theme worthy of that [space], and because we were in Kuwait, it just seemed natural to look at The Arabian Nights…once I dove in, it was a no-brainer.”

He used 30,000 tons of sand and directed over 70 sand artists to turn this expansive space into an immersive environment for the public to enjoy.

(The team / Submitted by Damon Langlois)

This book is what Langlois describes as being told through allegory, as he has combined pairing sculptures to the stories, as well as certain events and personal experience in the making of the sculptures.

This unique and impressive feat underwent a great deal of challenges, including a storm that destroyed half of the project—strengthening his dedication and further proving his commitment to the craft.

“Still to this day, it was the most challenging to deal with…I’d been working on this project for months…you know, you’re there and the scale is unbelievable…and it was wiped out by this storm,” he shared.

“A big part of it is to not let the tragedy overcome you, there’s an element of detached observation.”

He said it’s one of the main reasons this form of art isn’t for everyone, as there are always risks when it comes to working with sand—whether it be weather or vandalism—and some people can’t handle the disappointment. 

“It’s just sand and water, collapses happen…sand sculptors will always finish, even if you’ve got one hour left and your sculpture has collapsed, you make something out of it.”

(Submitted by Damon Langlois)

To fund an offset print run of this 276-page, limited edition, full-color, hardcover, coffee-table book, Langlois launched a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of raising $14,000 to publish around 250 copies.

If you wish to back this campaign, you can do so here!

When asked what the completion of this book represents for him, he sighed in relief and said that it holds a sense of finality to something that took an unimaginable amount of time to plan, sculpt, fix, and then present in book form.

“It has finality…it puts this project in a form that’s worthy of what we did,” he said.

“By having it in this format, you can absorb it…and sit with it a little more. It’s a way to show the world what we really do at its highest level.”

Once it’s published, Langlois anticipates that it’ll be available in local bookstores such as Bolen Books, Munro’s Books, and Russell Books.

Langlois will be competing in the Texas Sandfest in April, so keep an eye out for his newest masterpiece on his Instagram page. 

He is also a five-time winner of the World Championship of Sand Sculpting, founder of Codetta Product Design, and is the holder of many design awards. 

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