Allison is a digital reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times

Fleeting beach artwork an experience to behold

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For many, Mount Maunganui beaches are places for swimming and sunbathing, but a visiting artist also sees them as the perfect canvas.

Using only rakes, earthscape artist Andres Amador and several local helpers drew an intricate Maori design in the sand yesterday morning, only for it to be lapped away by the incoming tide.

L-R Tuutaka Luttenberger, Pohe Luttenberger, Rikirau Luttenberger and Andres Amador with their rakes after creating a massive sand mural. Photo/John Borren
L-R Tuutaka Luttenberger, Pohe Luttenberger, Rikirau Luttenberger and Andres Amador with their rakes after creating a massive sand mural. Photo/John Borren

Mr Amador, from San Francisco, is known worldwide for his eye-catching sand art and has been treating beach-goers around New Zealand to glimpses of his craft.

It brings magic into daily life.
Andres Amador

In Tauranga he collaborated with local ta moko artist Pohe Luttenberger, who created the design which Mr Amador then translated on to the beach by the harbour entrance at Mauao's base yesterday morning.

Mr Luttenberger, his brother, Rikirau Luttenberger and his son Tutakamoana Luttenberger helped create the artwork with Mr Amador.

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Mr Amador said he loved instilling a sense of wonder in those who saw the beach murals.

"It brings magic into daily life. A bit of mystery. People say 'why is this here, what is it about?' but by the time they see it I'll be gone," Mr Amador said.

Doing something that isn't going to last makes it all the more about the experience.
Andres Amador

Mr Amador took painstaking care with the detail in his artwork.

"I do this for the joy of doing it.

"I'm in a beautiful location, creating art using my whole body while I do it."

Even if conditions were wrong - the sand was not quite right or it began to rain - Mr Amador said he continued working.

American artist Andres Amador and helpers raked a Maori design into the sand near the base of Mauao. Photo/John Borren
American artist Andres Amador and helpers raked a Maori design into the sand near the base of Mauao. Photo/John Borren

He not only understood that once the tide came in the art would be lost forever, he embraced it.

"Doing something that isn't going to last makes it all the more about the experience.

"The underlying message of my art is doing something for the sake of the experience. We live too much in the future or past and have ulterior motives for what we do, which don't have anything to do with the experience itself."

To preserve his sandy accomplishments, however, Mr Amador captured aerial photographs of the artwork.

On Sunday there will be a public workshop with Mr Amador, everyone is welcome to attend.

7.30am - 9.30am Sunday 3rd April "Celebration of Mauao" - open participatory event.
Location: Sandy Beach, base of Mauao, Tauranga harbour entrance opposite Matakana Island

- Bay of Plenty Times

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