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Artist Etches Beautiful Beach Calligraphy into South African Sands

The South African artist is the world’s first beach calligrapher…

Story by Tafline Laylin - Source: http://inhabitat.com
Photo © Andrew van der Merwe

Photo © Andrew van der Merwe

We all dabble in a little doodling here and there, but Andrew van der Merwe has turned this mindless activity in a full-fledged art. The South African artist is the world’s first beach calligrapher, and he has a particular penchant for carving ancient and modern script into sand and then photographing the picturesque scene before it’s swept away with the wind and tide.

Photo © Andrew van der Merwe

Photo © Andrew van der Merwe

Andrew van der Merwe says that he is particularly interested in pre-colonia and colonial script, and that most of his beach art is an assemblage of meaningless symbols and words. There’s even a word for that: asemic, which means that the words have no semantic content. But they sure look pretty.

Photo © Andrew van der Merwe

Photo © Andrew van der Merwe

While he is a particular fan of Adinkra symbols created by the Aken people of Ghana and the Ivory Coast and Tifinagh – a North African Tuareg script, van der Merwe has perfected modern scripts as well. For one commission he was asked to carve a word into a raised platform sand using Futura script. He’ll also etch names into the sand and ship the resulting print all across the globe.

Photo © Andrew van der Merwe

Photo © Andrew van der Merwe

These beautiful works of art cause no environmental damage, require very few materials, and – despite their temporary nature – produce a lasting feeling of great peace and tranquility.

Photo © Andrew van der Merwe

Photo © Andrew van der Merwe

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