Cover art by Sean Corcoran

12 Amazing Sand Creations From Around the World in Response to the Corona Pandemic

Art has always been able to cross borders, to link people from different parts of the globe together. Here’s a glimpse of 12 corona-related sand art from around the world. Spreading the coronavirus is a big no-no – spreading the corona art is a big yes-yes! So keep creating and stay safe out there!

Some pieces tell stories, some celebrate heroes, while others observe or encourage following recommendations. Thanks to people like you and me sharing images of it, the creators’ messages spread worldwide.

We’re all affected by the Corona pandemic regardless of where in the world we are. Regardless of national borders, beliefs, and different ways of life, we share a common problem – the coronavirus. A positive side effect can be that we unite. Not only to fight the virus but other global challenges too. 

With a garden rake in hand, Sean Corcoran creates massive sand art on beaches in Ireland and the UK. Luckily photos and aerial videography go with it. As the art only lasts until the next tide, far too few would be able to awe unless. However, you can connect with Sean for pieces of sand art for special occasions. He even runs workshops if you’re dreaming of standing on a shore, rake in hand to create. It’s added to my sandy to-do list!

A gigantic image of the coronavirus and a sign saying community in sand” Sean Corcoran: We are all in this together. We all need to play our part. Reach out and be part of your community. Ask for help…Offer your help. Inspired by the Irish government’s “The Community Call’ initiative

A six-ton sand sculpture pays tribute to health care workers. Thanks to people sharing images of it via social media, the creators’ message spread far beyond the backyard in New Jersey, USA, where it stands. The couple Laura Cimador Gowdy and John Gowdy, both professional artists, and John, an established sand carver, made it together. 

At first, the sculpture of the caring woman held Italy in her hands with the words “Forza Italia” (Italy Strong) written on it. As the virus spread, the couple adjusted the sand sculpture for the health care worker to hold the entire world in her arms. 

The six-ton sand tribute to Health Care Workers was made by Laura Cimador Gowdy & John Gowdy. Patients “die in the arms of the health-care workers. They are our angels…. There is no thank-you big enough for these people,” Laura says. A permanent sculpture might follow. “I would really like to carve the same sculpture in marble for a permanent tribute at a hospital” John says. A huge chunk of marble lay ready.

Timelapse video for you to follow the sand creation from loose sand to the first and over to the final sculpture. Video by Ludovico Menegon

Have you ever seen the live illustrations with grains of sand moved around by hands in a light-box full of sand? It’s a must. The Italian artist Erica Abelardo aka Eka is one of few that masters it. She draws with sand on TV and big scenes when not making video

Erica Abelardo says: “Here is my story of the current health emergency. It’s a reminder of an unprecedented, unexpected, and tragic time. I hope that the future is better than the past and that the strength of people will be able to defeat this memory”.

CoronaArt on a beach in the Netherlands. Most of the time, the artist Gert-Jan van der Kooij, works with chalk, creating sidewalk chalk drawings. As with sand the chalk art is temporary and naturally wash away – t’s a part of the beauty!

The same few items suddenly became the number one thing to buy as the coronavirus first hit. in many nations. We humans aren’t always logical. In Sweden, where I live, it was bad. In the US relatives said it was way worse and showed images of completely empty aisles. Sand sculptor Chris Crosson SR. captured it well in this sculpture seen on Balboa Island, California, USA.

On several beaches sand has become a canvas for public announcements with words of encouragement or calls to stay home. Even if not meant as art what is lay in the eye of the beholder. 

Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority write and share messages to spread warmth and during the corona pandemic. The authority says their weekly “Messages in the Sand’ aim to bring a slice of the beaches tranquillity to everyone’s home. You may even make wishes for which words to come next. Yay, more beach vibes to the people ❤️

Lifeguards at Tamarama Beach, Australia, left a simple yet clear message. The Beach closed as a part of strict social-distancing guidelines related to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Photo: Corey Oliver/Waverley Council
Another art form, poetry, also qualifies here even if not made of or in sand. Diana Pearce wrote the Beach poem in response to the ”stay home” written in the sand on Tanamara Beach, as in the image above.

Palestinian artists Tamer Al-Deeb and Dorgham Krakeh carving their message on a beach in Gaza City
Photo: Majdi Fathi
Lastly, my Sand doodle – based on a sand grain from the Sahara desert in Algeria.

I love the symbolism that can be read into any art made from sand: (Yes, I’m a full-on sand nerd). 

  • how something tiny can have a huge impact
  • how greatness can hide in what might appear plain and common
  • that there’s strength in numbers
  • how everything is temporary

Spreading the coronavirus is a big no-no – spreading the corona art is a big yes yes! So keep creating and stay safe out there!

/Kristina K

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