Although it’s intimidating for some, one of Fred Dobbs’ favourite parts of sand sculpting is that everyone’s watching.
Dobbs, who has been sculpting for over 30 years, has crafted pieces at shopping malls, festivals, and contests, and loves that people can wander by and see a sculpture’s progress as the artist works.
“As a performance artist, you get much more of an immediate response.”
Along with two other Victoria sculptors, Andrew Briggs and Greg Jacklin, he’ll be part of the solo sand sculpture competition at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver from Aug. 20-21. The event kicks off the fair and the sculptures will be on display until the PNE ends, on Sept. 5.
This is the fourth year the massive art pieces will be on display at the PNE, but only the second year of the competition.
For the first time, admission for children 13 years and under is free, and Dobbs thinks this will draw more families to view the sculptures.
“It’s all very exciting – it’s in a very open area,” he said of the space where the sand art will be showcased, along Miller Drive, a walkway that runs through the exhibition grounds.
His planned design, called Squeaky Clean, will feature mice washing dishes in a bathtub filled with bubbles.
He has long wanted to create the sculpture, but only recently found a tool that would allow him to make the spherical bubbles out of sand, which has to be hard-packed in boxes for a day before, so it is sturdy enough to mould.