Culture & Litrature

Getting creative using sand and water

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It was a dream come true for M.N. Gowri, a young artist, when she recently opened her museum of sand sculptures in Mysore. It has now become a tourism attraction.

Using 115 truckloads of construction sand, Ms. Gowri, a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) graduate, has created 150 sculptures on 16 themes in a 13,500 sq ft area on the Chamundi Hills main road here.

Claiming that the museum — Mysore Sand Sculpture Museum — is unique in the country, Ms. Gowri, who was supported by her family, especially her father, B.M. Nanjundaswamy, in realising her desire to showcase incredible sand sculptures, is drawing accolades from visitors.

“An array of sand sculptures under one roof is unique,” said Ms. Gowri, who is now pursuing MFA from the KSOU.
It took four months

Ms. Gowri took about four months to create the sculptures, which primarily focus on the heritage of Mysore, religion and wildlife, besides an exclusive creation for children. A diploma holder in machine tool technology, Ms. Gowri discontinued engineering to pursue a career in sand sculpting.

“With Mysore being a nucleus for tourists, I thought of giving something distinctive to them. What immediately came to my mind was to put together a sand sculpture museum,” Ms. Gowri said.

Ms. Gowri, who is been involved in sand sculpting for over three years, told The Hindu that she worked continuously from dawn to dusk to craft the sculptures.

“Sand sculptures are commonly crafted for a brief display on beaches. What I have done in Mysore is a permanent museum of sand sculptures, protected from the sun and rain,” the artist explained. A 15-ft high sand statue of a Lord Ganesh welcomes visitors to the museum. Other sculptures include Goddess Chamundeshwari, Laughing Buddha, Dasara procession, the late Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar seated on the throne during Dasara, zodiac wheel, a striking work of ‘Gitopadesha’ with Lord Krishna and Arjuna on a horse-drawn chariot, ancient civilization, marine life, Disneyland, Islamic culture, a Christmas tree, Santa Claus and wildlife. Ms. Gowri explains: “I have entirely used only sand and water to craft the sculptures. I have also used glue in small proportions for sculpting vertical compositions.”

The artist has conscientiously crafted the art forms as it is an intricate work. “A small gaffe crumples the sculptures. Patience is the key,” she added.

To a question on museum maintenance, she said: “The sculptures need safeguarding and inspection. I spray insecticides to prevent insects from making crevices in the art works.”

The museum is open on all days from 8 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. There is an entry fee.

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