World Class Sand Sculptors in Cornwall

PUBLISHED: 15:22 18 August 2010 | UPDATED: 16:47 20 February 2013

World Class Sand Sculptors in Cornwall

World Class Sand Sculptors in Cornwall

Sand sculptor Paul Hoggard and partner Remy Geerts design incredible sand sculptures around the world, and they have a particular affinity with Cornwall

King of the Sandcastle

Sand sculptor Paul Hoggard and partner Remy Geerts design incredible sand sculptures around the world, and they have a particular affinity with Cornwall

Sand Artist Ltd was started by artists Paul Hoggard from Yorkshire, a sand sculptor since 1991, and Remy Geerts from the Netherlands, who has been sand sculpting since 1999. They design, organise and create sand sculptures for events around the world. Their specialty is original works of art made of sand and water that they customise for any event, indoors or outdoors, big or small. To date they have created thousands of sculptures for royal shows, county shows, festivals, seasonal events, art galleries and television programmes throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, America, Canada, China, India and Turkey. Sand sculpture is an ecologically-friendly art form and all their sculptures are made with heart and soul.

Paul has a special affinity with Cornwall, as he lived and worked in St Ives from 1992 to 2003. He was a regular on the towns beaches, creating his sand sculptures for donations, spending days and nights making and protecting his delicate works of art. Over the years thousands of young holidaymakers and local children were encouraged and taught the basics of sculpture in sand as part of the sand sculpture workshop Paul started in 1996 in St Ives. Paul still teaches today, and he and Remy also give master classes for the more serious sandcastle builders.

In 2003 Paul met Remy Geerts, a world-class master sand sculptor from the Netherlands, in a huge sand sculpture park in Belgium. She is a leading figure in the sand art world and also paints huge murals. They discover they share the same passion for creating and have been together ever since, travelling and building their sand sculptures. Audiences all over the world have been amazed to see their beautiful sculptures appear out of sand. For the last two years they have lived a quiet and sustainable life on their farm in Bulgaria, growing their own fruit and vegetables, when they are not on location creating their sculptures.

Every year the couple returns to Cornwall and they always make a point of creating a sand sculpture on the beach at St Ives. Often their friends, locals and tourists join in and help create something amazing, such as the Fantasy Castle with Ponckle the Cat and the Mermaid sculpture they made on Portminster Beach.

Paul has made several sculptures for the Royal Cornwall Show. He was commissioned to create a farm-related sand sculpture that he presented to Her Majesty the Queen in 2000. To honour this event he and Remy created a portrait sculpture of the Queen for her 80th birthday at the 2006 Show. The face alone took over eight hours just to get it looking lifelike. With a face so well known the public was constantly giving feedback, and the couple knew it was finished when people recognised the Queen!

In 1996 and 1998 Paul built The Adoration of the Magi, a nativity scene in Truro Cathedral. The sand came from a beach in St Ives and was returned there after the sculptures six-week showing at the cathedral. He built this sculpture for the people of Cornwall, thanking them for providing him with a place to live and for supporting him in his art work. Although he was born and raised in Yorkshire the only place in the UK he feels at home is Cornwall.

Paul even created a sand sculpture in a tin mine, when Cornwalls Geevor Tin Mine held a large art festival with dozens of artists contributing. He built a six-ton sand sculpture of a tin miner in the actual tin miners workplace. The former miners that are now working there as guides helped inspire the piece.

A more recent special Cornish project was the sculpture the couple created last summer at the Monkey Sanctuary in Looe. To raise awareness about deforestation Paul and Remy built a ten-ton sculpture funded by the Eden Project, spending four days with the monkeys in the sanctuary.

When Remy and Paul where approached by the BBC last year to create a beach sand sculpture for the new CBeebies childrens programme Lets Celebrate, they chose to make the huge sculpture on Porthminster Beach, St Ives. The subject of the sculpture is still top secret, but the programme will be aired in late March this year.

Paul and Remy will return to Cornwall this year but look forward to travelling around the world to sculpt sand. This years highlight is the World Championships, where only the top 70 sand sculptors in the world are invited, held in Federal Way, Washington, US.

For further information about Paul and Remys sand sculptures visit

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