Creator behind 90ft sand drawing of King says the art is ‘super poignant’
The woman behind a sand drawing of the King’s face that took six hours to create and measures 90ft by 65ft described her artwork as “super poignant”.
Claire Eason, from Sunderland, was a GP for more than 30 years but swapped medicine to concentrate on her sand art, creating the mammoth profile of Charles wearing a large crown.
The 58-year-old said she was “absolutely humbled” to create the art installation on Bamburgh Beach in Northumberland under the backdrop of Bamburgh Castle.
Claire Watson-Armstrong, who owns Bamburgh Castle, contacted Ms Eason to create a special piece of art ahead of the King’s coronation on May 6.
“I was absolutely humbled because Bamburgh Castle, for anybody who has grown up in the North East, is part of everybody’s DNA, and everybody absolutely loves it. It’s a real icon for the area,” the sand artist told the PA news agency.
“Bamburgh Castle has long been associated with Northumbrian kings going back thousands of years really… It’s having that royal connection carried on to the present day, which seemed super poignant.”
Ms Eason became inspired after the team at Bamburgh Castle showed her a picture of a textile piece of Charles’s portrait made out of sequins.
She adapted the piece and incorporated the natural ripples in the sand to create the King’s face, paying homage to his advocacy for protecting the environment.
“What I wanted to do was to try and make a connection between the portrait and the coastal locations,” she explained.
“The stripes are to represent the sand striations that happen when the tide comes in and you get those lovely, sculptural, elongated bumps… So that was to echo the sand shapes left by the tide to make up King Charles’s face.
“I kept it really organic because [Charles] seems to be somebody who’s very interested in the environment… I wanted to try and capture a little bit of that as well.”
Ms Eason’s love of sand drawing has been a “part of my life always” and started when she was a child.
Her desire to pursue sand drawing came after the invention of drones to help her visualise her drawings on a bigger scale.
“When my kids were growing up, we used to do some drawings, quite big ones [on the sand], but we never had a drone because they hadn’t been invented, so we would go and stand on a pier or a seawall and look over and get a sense of how big the cartoon was that we’ve made,” Ms Eason explained.
“I got a drone with the idea of taking nice pictures of the area, but also just experimenting a little bit with sand drawings.”
Interest in Ms Eason’s sand art has grown organically and has been appreciated by many with an Instagram following of more than 2,700, though she said she is “astonished” by the number of people who are also interested in her hobby.
“I was astonished to find that [my art] resonated with people rather than just myself,” she said.
“It seemed to, in certain situations, resonate with other people as well and that has just been a joy to find that it’s possible to share it in a group format.”
The 58-year-old said there are “many parallels” between her previous job as a GP and her sand art, which is something she did not expect.
“It’s always about people and it’s about listening to what they want, and trying to really drill down and offer them a personal service that is meaningful to them,” she said.
“It’s been quite a revelation to find that I feel quite comfortable in this new life because of what I used to do.”