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Global award for Indian artist

Orissa-based sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has once again made India proud with the magic he creates with sand.

art and culture Updated: Jun 03, 2012 01:09 IST
Shara Ashraf

Orissa-based sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has once again made India proud with the magic he creates with sand.

His 2.5 metres tall sand sculpture of a mermaid, bagged the first prize at the first Copenhagen International Sand Sculpture Championship, held in Denmark, while artists from Ireland and Russia won the second and third positions respectively.

“I created a mermaid to draw attention towards global warming. The mermaid asks humans to do their bit to save the oceans,” said Pattnaik on phone from Denmark.

He spent eight hours every day, for seven days, to complete the mammoth sculpture. As a little boy, Pattnaik would run to a beach close to his home in Puri and spend hours building sand castles. Recalling his struggles, he says, “I had no idea that sand art is so famous globally. My art was never taken seriously in India until I started picking up socially relevant issues which got me invites to participate in global events,” says the 34-year-old, who has won a large number of global sand sculpture championships.

Pattnaik, who also runs a sand art school in Puri, says the art deserves due recognition in India. “We need to introduce sand art in schools and colleges. It’s a great tool to shape young minds,” he says. “The short life of sand art makes it all the more amazing,” he adds.