As one of my favourite places in the world, I've had the pleasure of enjoying the many different faces of Bermuda: the nature, the history, the art, the culture and, of course, those beautiful beaches. Heading off for even a short beach break in Bermuda is one of the enduring joys of my life.
While there's always been a lot to keep visitors to this delightfully laidback part of the world busy, since 2012 I've been lucky enough to be there a couple of times to coincide with what's fast becoming an institution: The Beach Art Festival.
The Beach Art Festival
Unless you've encountered it before, you might be wondering just what beach art might be. You may even have seen this kind of art before but not have known just how seriously some people take it. Well, I may be biased (ok, I am!) but I think anyone planning a beach break in Bermuda should at least consider checking if the time of year suits (it's usually around March) and, if so, add it to the itinerary.
The process involves using the beach as a canvas to create a very detailed, temporary work of art. When I say temporary, I mean it only lasts a few hours until the next high tide, which then washes away the painstaking work without a trace. While that might seem a waste of time, or disheartening to some, I really appreciate the impermanence of it: it reminds me of the Buddhist sand mandalas.
Techniques of the Sand Artists
No paint, brushes or chemicals are used in the making of this art. The artists use rakes and other implements to shape and mould intricate 3D forms in the sand, with incredible shading and textured finishes.
Depending on the beach chosen for the installation, the artists will often create a theme around the natural landscape – for example, if the beach has rock formations, or if it is a snug cove or a long sweeping arc of sand they will use that in their design process.
What's On at the Festival
The art is created over a number of beaches on the island, although most of the action during the one-day festival is centred around Horseshoe Bay, within easy reaching distance of the Fairmont Southampton Resort in Southampton Parish. As well as the art competition, there are stalls with food and crafts and activities the public is invited to get involved in, including water sports demonstrations and yoga classes. Talks are presented by leading ecologists and naturalists and there's always plenty of music and dancing going on during the evening.
The beach art competition is judged over several different sub-categories (e. g. : Adult, Teen, Family, Tourist and Best Design Overall), and prizes of $500 are awarded in each category at the evening ceremony.
It's free to enjoy the festivities and there's no fee even if you want to try your skills and take part in the competition. Professionals, amateurs and even rank beginners and tourists are all welcome to get creative in this unique and, I think, quite beautiful art form. If you're planning a beach break in Bermuda around March 2017, why not give it a go?
While I've never entered the competition myself, I'm certainly not ruling it out! This wonderful island is such an inspiration, it's easy to see the art in the everyday…
John Dixon is an experienced world traveller and the Managing Director of Prestige Holidays. If you're planning a beach break in Bermuda John can help find your perfect accommodation. An expert in luxury accommodation in Bermuda, Croatia, Sicily and many other destinations around the globe for over 30 years, John tries to visit each of the destinations regularly in order to ensure the quality of his properties and stay up-to-date about the latest local news and events. He has a taste for the finer things in life and has an interest in arts, history and culture.