Cheapflights.com Announces Top 10 Art Beaches
Summer time is the season to hit the beach, bask in the sun and relax to the soothing sound of the waves washing ashore. Beaches bring out a free-spirited and relaxed audience, and artists and event organizers are now offering this crowd more than the sun, sea and sand as scenery by showcasing works of art. So the travel experts at Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, decided to explore this trend of oceanfront as canvass and have come up with their Top 10 Art Beaches featuring landmark sculptures and festivals from around the world.
A day at the beach generally means lounging by the water, sipping a cocktail, taking a dip in the ocean and/or building sand castles. Now you can add appreciating works of art to your list of beachside activities. Here's a selection of five of Cheapflights.com's Top 10 Art Beaches from around the globe to make the list:
- Another Place, Crosby Beach, Sefton, England - Crosby Beach is Another Place. This stretch of Merseyside coastline, north of Liverpool, is inhabited by 100 life-sized figures dotting the shallows for two miles and reaching almost a mile out to sea. Created by Antony Gormley, who also sculpted the Angel of the North in Gateshead and created the figures for Inside Australia at Lake Ballard, each cast-iron figure weighs more than 1,400 pounds. Exposed to the elements for about 10 years now, some are rusted, while others are covered in crustaceans. All of them stare out across the Irish Sea and as the tide sweeps out and rushes back in, they are revealed and then submerged again.
- Chain Link Sculpture, Stewart Island, New Zealand - Stewart Island/Rakiura is the smallest, and most southern, of New Zealand's three main islands. Its Maori name Rakiura is often translated as Glowing Skies, a possible reference to the Aurora Australis, the southern lights. The Chain was created by local artist Russell Beck, but, to understand the meaning behind the sculpture, you must first hear a famous Maori tale. According to legend, the hero Maui and his brothers sailed in their boat (Te Waka a Maui: the South Island) and caught a giant fish (Te Ika a Maui: the North Island). The original Maori name for Stewart Island is Te Punga o Te Waka "The Anchor Stone of Maui's Canoe." This chain link sculpture marks the official entrance to Rakiura National Park at Lee Bay. There is a corresponding chain link on the bottom of the South Island at Stirling Point, Bluff.
- Neptune, Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States - Mighty Neptune, sculpted by Paul DiPasquale, guards the entrance to Neptune Park (Oceanfront at 31st Street and Atlantic Avenue) and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. A huge structure, Neptune stands 34 feet high and weighs almost 14 tons. His head measures 6.5 feet, and his shoulders a mighty span of 12 feet. With a trident in his hand, dolphins (17 and 15 feet long), a Loggerhead Turtle (11 feet in diameter) and octopus (8 feet tall) at his feet, he gazes fondly toward the shore. It's a relatively new statue, dedicated to the City of Virginia Beach during the 2005 Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend. The Neptune Festival raised the money for the statue entirely from citizens of Virginia Beach.
- Monumento al Ahogado, Punta del Este, Uruguay - This sculpture of five human fingers emerging from sand (or are they sinking into the sand?) is a landmark on Parada 1 at Brava Beach in Punta del Este, a popular tourist town in Uruguay. Created in 1982 by Mario Irarrázabal, a Chilean artist, as part of the International Meeting of Modern Sculpture in the Open Air in Punta del Este, it stands as a warning to swimmers to beware of the rough waters of La Barra. Immortalized in photographs and on postcards, Irarrázabal made replicas in Madrid in 1987, in the Atacama Desert in Chile in 1992 and in Venice in 1995.
- Inukshuk, English Bay, Vancouver, Canada - An inukshuk is a stone landmark used by the peoples of the Arctic Region. The Inuit used them as markers for camps, fishing spots, hunting grounds, sacred places and travel routes. Most recently, the City of Vancouver used a stylized inukshuk (known as Ilanaaq) in its logo for the 2010 Winter Olympics. A huge inukshuk stands at English Bay in Vancouver. Created by Alvin Kanak from the Nunavut Territory, it was commissioned by the Government of the Northwest Territories for its pavilion at Expo 86. It was then given to the City of Vancouver, an enduring symbol of Northern friendship.
The following beachfront sights round out our list of worthy seaside art festivals and sculptures: L'Estel Ferit, Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona, Spain; Serpent d'Ocean, Saint-Brevin-les-Pins, Western France; Sculpture by the Sea, Sydney, Australia; Sculpture by the Sea, Aarhus, Denmark; and Sculpture on the Beach, Dubai, UAE. To read Cheapflights.com's complete list of Top 10 Art Beaches, visit www.cheapflights.com/news/top-10-art-beaches.