Sand Sculpture Festival July 19 2014

Based on an article by BBC News Somerset Online - 18 April 2014

About 5,000 tonnes of beach sand was scooped up and compacted for the Weston-super-Mare's annual sand sculpture festival.

2014's sculptures, created by 20 international artists, were on the theme 'Once Upon a Time' and included works from The Hunger Games and The Hobbit.

Co-organiser Nicola Wood said: "In just nine years, we have grown from 30 tonnes of sand to 5,000 [tonnes]"

Among the "maze of sand sculptures" was Max from children's book Where the Wild Things Are, Paddington Bear and the "tallest sand sculpture the festival has ever made", according to organisers.

"They're actually surprisingly robust: rain does affect them to a degree but we have sculptors on site all the time that help to repair them and tweak them and tidy them up when necessary."

Rachel Stubbs, who has created a work based on one of Aesop's Fables, The Lion and the Mouse, said the sand at Weston was "fantastic".

"As a sand sculptor you must work with all sorts of different types of sand," she said.

"Weston sand is the perfect shape, consistency and it is fine enough to make intricate details."

One of the largest sculptures on show is by Radovan Zivny, from the Czech Republic, who has created Gulliver from Swift's classic novel Gulliver's Travels.

"I've been working here for eight days," Mr Zivny said.

"Sand is one of the few materials I work with, and I like that it is ephemeral and the sand sculpture disappears."

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