The school nativity - sand sculpture
Due to Covid restrictions, I was spared the school Christmas nativity last year. My son is a natural actor, probably having picked it up from his wonderful mother who was quite an accomplished actor when I met her. I'm sure he would like nothing more than to be getting up there on stage and doing some method acting as a sheep or the back half of a donkey.
I am also sure that when this pandemic is over he'll be up there and I will be the proudest dad in the audience.
Lifes a stage
For 2012s Sand nativity in La Pineda, Catalonia we thought it would be nice to celebrate this magical tradition of Christmas and make our own little performance.
My back was still in complete bits with sciatic and so I said I would stay front of stage and make some sort of audience. At least in the audience, there would be no climbing and I was sure that I could pull it off somehow even in my painful state. Sure, if I didn't most people would be looking at the back of my sculpture anyway.
My block of sand was quite big but my first job was to make it even bigger. Having cut the bottom out of a bucket slowly and painfully I compacted some masses for heads on top. I used the sand from the front while at the same time making a kind of step where I figured the knees would be. I then happily had a place to sit while I carve the figures. I had 7 days and thought I could carve around two figures per day. This was a challenge but I thought that if I worked them all at the same time I could finish detailing when I ran out of time. I didn't want to make one really well and then have the others look like crap because of running out of time. Better to have them all looking semi crap as time would allow.
Cast of characters
It is strange that when I carve humans from sand I usually make them all look like members of my own family. It is like they all come from my DNA. The guy front and center has a strong resemblance to my father and probably how I will look when I get older.
I don't know what I was playing at with the guy in the Club 3D shirt. I think around this time was the height of the 3D movie craze and him sitting there gobsmacked at how amazing this show was through his special glasses probably made perfect sense to me.
All the other characters made up a motley crew of parents and grand parents all there proudly watching the children acting out the best story ever told. Although they all looked very sketchy I believe it worked quite nicely. I left an empty seat for me to rest my painful back and in the end, it became nice for a photo opportunity.
I was quite happy with the result and even though the real audience just looked at the back of their heads I knew they were there, each carved lovingly as an individual. I think what I made added a presence to the scene that was necessary but not meant to become a focal point and this result I achieved.
At a later date, I will come back and make a fuller post about the other sculptures