The Performing Arts - Sand Animation
The Art Form:
Sand animation is simply the art of using one's hands to draw with sand. Artists create their master pieces by adding or removing sand from glass table lit from below. By using both positive and negative space, amazing images come to life before the audience. The presentation is often enhanced by the use of music and various lighting techniques under the table. Most performances follow a story line or script. This creates a sense of motion in the imagery and draws the audience into the creation process.
Initially a means to create animated short films, sand animation was brought into the live performing arts stage by Ferenc Cako. You may hear these live performances called sand art, or sand painting. Although the art itself has been around for decades, there are still very few successful artists. Many find that simply being able to draw images with sand is not enough to captivate observers. They must also be able to entertain and create and tell a compelling story. Today there are only a handful of well known sand animation artist within the community. Below are the most prominent.
A Hungarian artist with over 30 years of experience. He is credited with moving sand animation to live performances. As one would expect he has been very successful with his performances including an apperance at Techfest 2004 and work for various TV shows.
An Israeli artist with several years of commercial experience. She is most known for the use of her art in several Qwest commercials. Ilana's work can be found on youtube.com as well as metacafe.com.
Currently in France, David is not only a sand artist, but also a poet and author. As with many of the others, his work is also available on Youtube. David stays busy with live performances, but still enjoys creating the traditional shot films.
Currently a pastor by profession, Joe uses sand animation to create captivating images from the scriptures. He is best know for his performance to the soundtrack of the Mel Gibson file “The Passion of the Christ.” Joe is also the most publicaly connected performer with profiles on Flickr, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Youtube. He focuses on the story aspect of the art to the extent that his work has attracted the title of SandStories.
Kseniya is the newest artist to the genre. The young Ukrainian, at only 24 years old, won the “Ukraine's Got Talent” show in 2009. With many decades ahead of her and true tallent, it will be a joy to see how she advances the artform.
If sand animation interests you there are many resources online. Below are the available official sites for the artists above. Many have workshops and other information for aspiring artists. There are also links to past performances and schedules for future one. This is a truly unique gift these individuals have. With such a young artform the future should be impressive.